July 19, 2004

Abkhazia: Abkhaz Prime Minister may run for President

The prime minister of the self- proclaimed republic of Abkhazia has said he might run in the presidential elections
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The prime minister of the self- proclaimed republic of Abkhazia, Raul Khadzhimba, has said he might run in the presidential elections in Abkhazia, slated for October 3, 2004.

"I cannot rule out that I might run in the Abkhaz presidential elections," Khadzhimba told Interfax.

"If I make a positive decision on this issue, all my steps will fully comply with the law," he said.

Khadzhimba recalled that the registration of presidential candidates begins 60 days before the election date.

Abkhazia, as well as South Ossetia, are Georgian provinces, which gained de facto independence in the 1990s. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has called on Abkhazia and South Ossetia to take steps towards reunification within one state, but Sukhumi and Tskhinvali have rejected these proposals.

Nevertheless, after his recent victory over the separatist regime in the autonomous republic of Ajaria, Saakashvili said he is determined to regain control over the two breakaway territories.

Source: Interfax