Tensions Growing in Sokhumi as De-facto President of Abkhazia Resigns

Besieged de-facto president of breakaway Abkhazia Raul Khajimba had to file his resignation amidst increasing protests of opposition on Sunday evening.

Immediately before the resignation, a group of about a hundred opposition supporters came to his state villa near Sokhumi to stage a rally demanding him to step down.

A few hours beforehand, Khajimba met with Aslan Bzhania, the leader of the opposition, and other politicians. Russian herald Rashid Nurgaliev was also present at the meeting.

Apparently, a top Kremlin courier Vladislav Surkov also landed in Sokhumi on Sunday. Surkov is an advisor to President Vladimir Putin and a key strategic counselor in shaping the Kremlin’s politics toward its Abkhazia, South Ossetia and pro-Russian regimes in Eastern Ukraine.

Surkov met with Bzhania, while Khajimba surprisingly refused to meet him, Ekho Kavkaza reports.

"We categorically demand Khajimba’s resignation," Aslan Bzhania said after the meeting.

The same demand was aired on Saturday evening by key figure behind the storming of “presidential” office, Akhra Avidzba.

On Friday, the de facto parliament voted in favor of Khajimba's resignation.

“I want to announce that I will be leaving my granted position to maintain stability in the ‘country’,” Khajimba said.   

The pseudo-vice-president of occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Barcic, also commented on the near revolt state of the region, saying that “Khajimba resigned to prevent bloodshed and to sustain stability.”     

Repeated presidential elections in Russian-occupied Abkhazia will be held on March 22, leader of the Abkhaz opposition, Aslan Bjania, announced Monday. On January 10, the court in occupied Abkhazia declared the results of the second round of the presidential election and the decision of the court of the first instance illegal.

By Beka Alexishvili


13 January 2020 15:20