Raul Khajimba, the current president in the de facto administration in the Georgian separatist region of Abkhazia has won another term in office after a runoff vote. According to preliminary data, he received 47.38% of the vote, the head of Abkhazia's Central Election Commission (CEC) Tamaz Gogia told the Russian news agenmcy TASS in the early hours of Monday (9 September).
His rival, Alkhas Kvitsiniya received 46.19% of the votes, according to the same source. The number of those voting in the elections was reported to be around 81,100.
Despite the small size of the electorate Abkhaz politics are often bitter and acrimonious, and the close vote indicates a polorised society that is divided right through the middle.
Kvitsiniya earlier improved his chances of winning the poll after making an alliance with another opposition leader Alexander Ankvab.
It is not yet clear if the opposition will accept the result of the vote, given that the number of votes seperating the two candidates is only a few hundred.
The international community does not recognise elections in Abkhazia as legitimate.
photo: Raul Khajimba (archive picture)
The public debate between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Munich on Saturday was not there to be won or lost, but was itself a confidence-building measure, argues Dennis Sammut in this week's Monday Commentary