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

Albert Hovsepyan retires as Vice Speaker of Abkhazia’s People’s Assembly

On the 3rd of May, Albert Hovsepyan announced that on account of his old age (72), he was retiring as Vice Speaker of the People’s Assembly of Abkhazia. This news has received very little media attention, but it is potentially significant, since Hovsepyan is probably the most important Armenian politician of Abkhazia.

Armenians form about a fifth of Abkhazia’s population, and they have always supported Abkhazia’s independence, but they play only a very minimal part in Abkhazian politics. Until now, this has not led to public Armenian dissatisfaction, but it is clear that in the long term, the Abkhazian state needs the active participation of Armenians – and hence Hovsepyan’s retirement is a step backwards.

When Hovsepyan was re-elected as Vice Speaker following the 2007 parliamentary elections, he stood against his fellow Armenian Sergei Matosyan. The Assembly might thus choose to elect Matosyan as Hovsepyan’s successor, but that does not seem to have happened. This is probably due to the fact that in 2007, the Assembly elected 3 Vice Speakers instead of the usual 2, facilitating the election of a female candidate, Irina Agrba.

Filed under: Abkhazia, Elections, , , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. […] May Albert Hovsepyan resigned as Vice Speaker of the People’s Assembly of Abkhazia. At the time, he was the highest ranking Armenian in Abkhazia, and I posited that it represented a setback to […]

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