Tbilisi Condemns ‘Illegal’ Abkhaz Presidential Poll

The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned early presidential election held in the “the occupied region of Abkhazia” on August 24 and said that it represents “total disrespect and neglect of the fundamental principles of international law.”

“This illegal act represents yet another unsuccessful attempt of disguising ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of people by elements of ostensible democratic governance. During the last twenty years people displaced from Georgia’s occupied regions are deprived of the right to return to the places of their residence whereas the fundamental rights and freedoms of a small number of population still living in these regions, in particular their civil, economic and social rights, are violated every day by the occupation regimes,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

“Of particular concern are the de-facto regime’s statements calling for the harassment, and in some cases, even for the expulsion of ethnic Georgians living in the Abkhazian region,” it said. “Provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement continue to be violated in parallel to the grave human rights situation in the occupied regions. International observers, including representatives of the EU Monitoring Mission are denied access to the Abkhazian and Tskhinvali regions to cover the existing situation there. Actions designed to undermine the agreed format and agenda of the International Geneva Discussions continue to be reported hindering the discussion of important issues under the agenda.”

“The so-called ‘presidential elections’ illegally held in the occupied Abkhazian region… represent total disrespect and neglect of the fundamental principles of international law, in particular, of the principle of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders,” the Foreign Ministry said and called on the international community to condemn these elections.

Breakaway Abkhazia’s Central Election Commission said that 43% of voters turned out at the polling stations as of 2pm local time; more than half of voters should participate for the polls to be valid.

There are about 131,000 voters eligible to cast ballot in the elections, according to the breakaway region’s Central Election Commission.

The figure is less than it was in 2011 presidential and 2012 parliamentary elections as thousands of ethnic Georgians, residing in eastern parts of the breakaway region, were removed from voters list.


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