Russia » Politics

Abkhazia is proud to have its own "Putin"

The elections are officially over.

The outcome of Abkhazia's presidential elections appeared obvious a month prior to the elections. All candidates were promoting the same principles such as republic's independence and 100 percent cooperation with Russia.

However, such predictability was a mere illusion form the very beginning. Every fifth candidate could easily acquire support of his many relatives and residents from his district. As a result, nearly 140 000 votes could have been scattered among the five sections and a second round of elections needed to take place. This in turn, would have been a rather costly and dangerous event for the poor, yet fully armed and still unacknowledged Republic.

It does not matter who wins at this point; the only thing that matters is to keep people away from firearms so that they won’t walk around the town and shoot each other,” says a cab driver by the name of Raul.

Another 24 000 pensioners from Abkhazia were afraid of the same thing; they were basically adoring Putin’s portrait after they began receiving a full-fledged Russian pension instead of former “survival” money.

Accusations in “Georgian acquiescence” have become the leading argument in the overall pre-election struggle of the candidates. Former chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia Sergei Shamba along with the leader of the Public party Yakub Lakoba, ex-prime-minister Anri Djergenia, managing director of the state’s company “Chernomorenergo” Sergey Bagapsh are all veterans of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. It is virtually impossible to suspect them in having secret negotiations with Georgia. That is why the pre-election discrediting material was rather democratic and at the same time rather dull and frivolous.

Former KGB agent and a chief of the analogous organization in Abkhazia by the name of Raul Khajimba has become the number one candidate. First of all, he has already been “blessed” by the Republic’s ex-president Vladislav Ardzinba; second of all, he was the one to meet Russia president Vladimir Putin in Sochi “by pure accident”. Khajimba has immediately acquired a nickname of “the Kremlin’s candidate”. In fact, he enjoyed being called that. According to the Election Committee of Abkhazia, Khajimba has managed to collect 56% of votes.

The reaction of Georgia appears to be quite obvious as well. Tbilisi acknowledges neither the old nor the new president. However, the city has absolutely no potential to influence the events in the rebellious republic of Georgia. Russia’s position in Abkhazia after the elections will most likely improve. At least, a fully restored after a ten-year remission train Moscow-Sukhumi has departed on time the other day.


Semeon Mikhov