Sunday, December 13, 2009

Abkhazia Picks New President

Well, maybe it's more accurate to say that the breakaway Georgian region sent their old president back for another round; sitting President Sergei Bagpash won nearly 60% of the vote in a field of five candidates, electing him to a second term in office. Opposition candidates though are crying foul, saying there were many irregularities in the poll and Georgia said the entire election is fraudulent since they feel that Abkhazia is still a part of Georgia.

The independence of the Black Sea region, home to around a quarter of a million people, is widely disputed in the international community, so far only Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela have recognized Abkhazia as a country; the United States and many Western European countries insist it is still part of Georgia, despite the fact that Georgia has basically not exercised any political control in Abkhazia since the region fought a year-long war for independence in the early 1990's. Georgia called this week's elections "illegitimate and amoral".

Relations with Russia were a big issue in the election as the four challengers all accused President Bagpash of being too cozy with Russia and risking turning their would-be country into a client state of Moscow. Russia currently has about 3,000 troops deployed in Abkhazia as "peacekeepers", is building two military bases on Abkhaz territory and has begun patrolling Abkhazia's coastal waters.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: