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Raul Khajimba (middle) and Valery Bganba (right), September 18, 2018. Photo: apsnypress.info

New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed

Raul Khajimba, the Moscow-backed leader of Abkhazia, appointed on September 18 Valery Bganba as the head of the region’s 12-member “cabinet of ministers.” The position became vacant following the death of Gennady Gagulia, who served at the post from April 2018.

Introducing the new head to the “cabinet of ministers” today, Khajimba said “the current situation requires quick and radical steps.”

“Valery Bganba is well known to everyone and I have no doubt that his knowledge and experience will be used to form a draft budget, which has to be presented to the legislature in due time, as well as on matters concerning cooperation with the Russian Federation in implementing the Investment Program,” the Abkhaz leader noted.

Valery Bganba’s Bio

Valery Bganba (b. 1948, Gagra) was a member of the region’s legislature in 2007-2017, serving as the parliament speaker in 2012-2017. In 2002-2006, Bganba worked as the head of Abkhazia’s westernmost Gagra district.

In June 2014, when mass public unrests in Sokhumi, the region’s capital, forced the previous Abkhaz leader, Alexander Ankvab, into resignation, Valery Bganba took over the region’s authorities as acting president.

In his new role, Bganba ordered the “interior ministry” to compile a list of those Gali district residents, whose Abkhaz “passports” have been deemed “illegal” and submit it to the election administration for removing them from the voters list, effectively stripping the region’s remaining ethnic Georgian population of the right to vote (approx. 23,000 voters).

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