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Abkhaz Leader Makes Concessions to Opposition

Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba refused to resign in response to the opposition’s demands at a rally held in Sokhumi on December 15, but offered governmental posts to the opposition.

Among the posts offered by Khajimba are the positions of the Deputy PM and the Prosecutor General, as well as two posts in the Constitutional Court, and four posts in the Central Election Commission, according to Apsnypress news agency.

Abkhaz Parliamentary Speaker Valeri Bganba said that he would guarantee the implementation of the agreement on “socio-political stability” that would apparently be signed by the government and the opposition.

“We will develop this document together with the President’s administration and [one of the opposition leaders] Aslan Bzhania,” Apsnypress quoted Bganba as saying on December 16.

Speaking with his supporters gathered at the counter-rally overnight on December 16, Raul Khajimba said that he thinks that “the confrontation will come to an end.”

“There are some issues, on which we will agree and there are some issues, on which it is impossible to agree. But most important is that we managed to solve all the issues peacefully,” he said.

Earlier, Khajimba strongly rejected the opposition’s demand for his resignation. “Let everyone understand that the President will not resign,” he said.

Aslan Bzhania, who was Khajimba’s main rival in the 2014 presidential election, told the protesters, according to Sputnik Abkhazia news agency, that lengthy negotiations with the government yielded some results.

The Abkhaz opposition first announced about its plans to hold a protest rally demanding Khajimba’s resignation during the congress of the opposition party Amtsakhara on November 30. Khajimba’s supporters said then that full responsibility for possible destabilization in the region would lay on the opposition. Earlier, the opposition demanded referendum to decide whether to call early presidential elections in spring, but when in June Khajimba agreed to hold the referendum, the opposition boycotted it and the referendum was declared invalid due to low voter turnout.

During the meeting in Moscow on December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Khajimba, that it was crucial to maintain internal political stability in the breakaway region.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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