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Only One-Fourth of Georgians Residing in Abkhazia Allowed to Vote

According to the administration of Abkhazia’s Gali district, only 15 thousand out of 60 thousand Georgian residents in the district were allowed to vote in Abkhazia’s presidential elections on October 3.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes Abkhaz officials as saying that the rest of residents were not officially registered in Abkhazia. Thousands of Georgian displaced persons have spontaneously returned to Abkhazia’s westernmost Gali district in recent years, and many consider themselves Georgian citizens.

Georgian authorities quote disenfranchisement of the ethic Georgian returnees as one of the main reasons for regarding the Abkhazia elections illegitimate. Official Tbilisi also claims around 200 thousand Georgian displaced persons are not being allowed to return to their pre-war houses, while the basic civil and political rights of those who returned spontaneously are actively violated by the Abkhaz de-facto authorities.


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