Abkhaz Leadership Hopeful Aslan Bzhania Hospitalized

Aslan Bzhania, 56, one of the three candidates running for Russia-backed Abkhazia’s leadership, has been reportedly hospitalized on March 2, less than three weeks before the repeat ‘presidential polls.’ Local media Apsny Today reported that earlier this morning, Bzhania “felt unwell” while his short stay in Sochi, on the way from Moscow to Sokhumi.

This is the second time in less than a year that Bzhania faces serious health problems. Bzhania, the Soviet KGB school graduate, was Abkhaz leadership hopeful and the main rival of then incumbent leader, ex-KGB officer Raul Khajimba during the 2019 race as well, however, he had to drop out as he was then poisoned with heavy metals.

Abkhazia’s acting leader Valeri Bganba held a ‘security council’ meeting today, discussing Bzhania’s hospitalization. Reportedly, Bzhania will be eventually delivered to the #1 hospital of Krasnodar, Russian regional capital some 300 kilometers north from Sochi.

Bzhania is regarded as the key candidate in repeat Abkhaz leadership race, that is slated for March 22. The region’s previous leader Raul Khajimba resigned amid January protests and the local court’s decision to declare September 2019 runoffs invalid.

Elections in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia regions are denounced as illegitimate by Tbilisi and the international community, except of Russia and four other countries (Nauru, Venezuela, Syria and Nicaragua), which have recognized the two regions’ independence from Georgia.

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


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