Flag of Abkhazia, Sukhumi, May 2014. Photo by Nina Zotina, ЮГА.ру

26 August 2014, 19:30

Russian experts doubt Khajimba's chances for serious reforms in Abkhazia

Alexei Malashenko, a member of the Board of the Moscow Carnegie Centre, is sceptical about any reforms in Abkhazia after the election of Raul Khajimba as a new President. "When I hear about prospects of reforms in the post-Soviet space (except for the Baltic countries and Georgia), it causes my doubts. Any political reforms in the semi-traditional, multi-ethnic and Russia-dependent society are possible under combat mood and unbound hands. However, Khajimba has his hands roped," the expert told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The election of the new President of Abkhazia will have no essential effect on the foreign policy of the republic, said Mamuka Areshidze, the head of Centre for Strategic Studies of the Caucasus. "There's no reason thinking that a man will take power in Abkhazia, able to take extraordinary steps: all four candidates are former power agents – people who are in constant contact with Moscow," the expert told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Areshidze suggests that the "discriminatory treatment" of ethnic Georgians, who live in the Gali and Tkvarcheli Districts of Abkhazia, will continue. The very fact of exclusion of 22,000 residents of these districts out of the process has already puts a big question mark as to the legitimacy of the election as such.

"Other people of the same category – citizens of Armenia – also live in Abkhazia, but nobody touches them, which gives reason to think that this is a discriminatory regime as a whole, and the election was also discriminatory," said Areshidze.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 24, Abkhazia held the early presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), the turnout reached 70%, and Raul Khadjimba won the election by gaining 50.57% (50,494 votes). On August 25, the Abkhaz CEC declared Raul Khadjimba to be elected President of Abkhazia and Vitaly Gabniya, who was running in tandem with him, as elected Vice President.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Semyon Charny, Inna Kukudzhanova; Source: CK correspondents

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