Raul Khajimba, Moscow-backed leader of occupied Abkhazia, accepted the resignation filed by Temur Nadaraia, acting head of Abkhaz administration of Gali District and appointed Omar Bganba as the new head.
Nadaraia, who fought against Georgia’s central government during the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia, served as the head of the Gali district administration since November 2014.
Newly appointed head of the Gali district, Omar Bganba, 50, served as the head of Gulripshi district in 2016-2019. Earlier he was involved in commercial activities.
According to the statistical data available in Sokhumi, as of January 1, 2018, 30,259 persons lived in Gali district. Sokhumi deprived the majority of them of the so called citizenship in 2014 and in 2017 and started issuing residence permits to them, depriving Gali residents of their political rights and possibilities to participate in non-recognized presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Sokhumi.
According to Abkhaz laws, the president appoints the head of district administration, while local population has the right to elect Sakrebulo (a local council); however, Gali residents have not participated in local elections since 2011.
Sokhumi fails to hold local elections in Gali after depriving local residents of citizenship in 2014.
Shortly before the 2016 local elections, Sokhumi postponed holding of elections in Gali first till 2017 and then till 2020. Simultaneously, it prolonged the tenure of 26-member Gali Sakrebulo elected in 2011.
During the 2019 “presidential elections” in Abkhazia, the local election administration had registered about 900 voters (having Abkhaz passports) in Gali.
It is important to note that Gali district area under Russia-backed Abkhaz administration is significantly smaller than traditional Gali municipality area, that being in place since Soviet occupation years, Georgia recognizes to the day. In mid-1990s, Abkhaz created new Tkvarcheli municipality on the expense of Gali as well as Ochamchire municipalities. Under Russia-backed Abkhaz rule, part of Gali municipality area, namely Georgian-majority Achigvara village, was also ceded to Ochamchire district.