June 18, 2014 22:48
Raul Khajimba nominated for Abkhaz president
SUKHUMI. June 18 (Interfax) - The Coordination Council of Abkhaz opposition parties and non-governmental organizations has adopted a recommendation on nominating and supporting Raul Khajimba, the leader of the Popular Unity Forum of Abkhazia party, as a presidential candidate.
The Coordination Council also nominated Vitaly Gabnia, the leader of the Aruaa (Warriors) organization of veterans of the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhaz war, as a candidate for vice president.
The Coordination Council proposed at a session in Sukhumi on Wednesday that the parties and non-governmental organizations comprising it discuss the decision and make statements on the matter.
Meanwhile, former Abkhaz Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshba also announced his intention to run for president.
In an address to the voters circulated in Sukhumi on Wednesday, Dzapshba said he wished to be an alternative opposition candidate.
"My decision to run has also been dictated by the difference in views and approaches between me and some other leaders of opposition sociopolitical parties and movements on various issues," Dzapshba said in his address.
Local experts have also mentioned incumbent Defense Minister Mirab Kishmaria, Security Service chief Aslan Bzhania, and former Prime Minister Sergei Shamba among possible presidential candidates.
Early presidential elections in Abkhazia are slated for August 24. They were called after Alexander Ankvab resigned at the opposition's demand.
The parliament appointed its speaker Valery Bganba to perform presidential duties until a new president is elected.
The official nomination of presidential candidates in Abkhazia will begin on June 25 and will last until July 14.
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