Raul Khajimba, Moscow-backed Abkhazia’s leader resigned the post of the “president” on Sunday evening. The announcement comes as hundreds of protesters moved from occupied “presidential headquarters” towards the “presidential residence.”
- ‘Snap Elections’ in Occupied Abkhazia Slated for March 22
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Protesters however demanded immediate voluntary resignation from Khajimba, who would otherwise remain as the leader of the occupied region until the new leader’s election through the snap polls.
Amid Thursday’s unrest that demanded Khajimba’s resignation and snap polls, Abkhaz “parliament” asked Khajimba step down, but the latter refused.
Khajimba vowed on Friday to appeal top “court’s” ruling that declared September runoffs void in “the Presidium of the Supreme Court.”
- ‘Parliament’ Calls on Abkhaz Leader to Resign, Khajimba Refuses
- Hundreds Storm Khajimba’s Office in Sokhumi, Demand New Polls
Meanwhile, Russian security official Rashid Nurgaliyev intervened to break Abkhazia deadlock. Nurgaliyev, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, arrived in the occupied region on Friday and held meetings with Khajimba on Friday and Saturday, as well as mediated Abkhaz leader’s Sunday afternoon meeting with opposition’s Aslan Bzhania and Alkhas Kvitsinia.
Russian media reported on Sunday evening that Russian President’s aide Vladislav Surkov arrived in Abkhazia.
He served as breakaway region’s vice-president in 2005-2009. Khajimba took that post as a result of a power-sharing agreement with then Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh following a fiercely disputed presidential election in 2004 in which Khajimba was openly supported by the Kremlin.
Khajimba first became Abkhaz leader in August 2014, after three unsuccessful attempts to win presidency in three previous polls since late 2004. “Snap elections” of 2014 that brought Khajimba to power was called as previous leader Alexander Ankvab was forced to resign after the opposition broke into the “presidential headquarters” in Sokhumi.