Analysis, book reviews and photography from Abkhazia and the wider Caucasus --- updates when time permits

Ankvab changes mind, proposes abolishing Vice President, not Prime Minister

On 31 January, President Ankvab sent a draft constitutional amendment to Abkhazia's People's Assembly that would abolish the position of Vice President. The proposal itself is not strange. Ankvab's representative to the People's Assembly Dmitri Shamba argues (as was pointed out here before) that the Vice President does not fulfill …

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The shared history of President Ankvab and former Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshba, now prosecuted for corruption

Last month, Leonid Dzapshba was indicted for corruption. The charges relate to his Chairmanship of the Abkhazian Football Federation, but Dzapshba is better known as the previous Interior Minister of Abkhazia. The indictment has caused some rumour because Dzapshba defended himself, first in an interview with Nuzhnaya and then through …

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Independents defeat prominent politicians in Abkhazia's parliamentary elections

Last Saturday, on the 10th, Abkhazia held the first round of its fourth parliamentary elections since gaining independence. I have fitted the results into a big table on Wikipedia. The results from constituency 21 are not yet known, due to heavy snow fall, and there will be a rerun in …

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Abaza TV gains national coverage

Last week, something happened that has not seemingly attracted the attention of English-language media, but which may turn out to be quite important for the development of Abkhazian society. On 11 November, President Ankvab signed a decree authorising Abaza TV to broadcast throughout Abkhazia, where until now it had been …

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Wikipedia: Abkhazia's Presidential election

As more and more becomes known about Abkhazia's upcoming Presidential election, I (and others) will gather the information in the corresponding Wikipedia article.

Similar articles exist for the February 2011 local elections and the 2009, 2005 and 2004 Presidential elections.

As of now, as expected Raul Khajimba and Alexander Ankvab …

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Who will succeed Sergei Bagapsh?

For the first week or so after the unexpected death of President Sergei Bagapsh this morning, following surgery in Moscow, Abkhazia will predominantly be mourning. But then the question of his succession will inevitably come up. In line with the constitution, Vice President Alexander Ankvab is now acting President, but …

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Abkhazian Army Purge? - Part 2

When a large number of senior members of the Abkhazian military was sent into retirement late April, this caused some speculation as to whether this wasn't in reality a purge, and if so, whom this purge was directed against. One option was that Minister of Defence Mirab Kishmaria had removed …

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Sergei Shamba succeeds Alyksandr Ankvab as Prime Minister of Abkhazia

The 12 December 2009 Abkhazian presidential election left many things as they were - Bagapsh won a second term and the composition of the cabinet is not likely to change radically. But since Alyksandr Ankvab was elected Vice President under Bagapsh, there was one vacancy: the Prime Ministership.

Today Bagapsh appointed …

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The re-election of Sergei Bagapsh - probably the best outcome

On 12 December 2009, Sergei Bagapsh won a second term in the Abkhazian presidential election - Alyksandr Ankvab, the current Prime Minister, will become Vice President. Before the pair will be inaugurated on 12 February, I want to take a look back and argue that Bagapsh's re-election was probably the best …

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