Democracy in Abkhazia: a testing year, George Hewitt
Open Democracy - almost 5 years
An eventful political period in the Black Sea republic of Abkhazia that began in 2011 with the premature death of its president, Sergej Bagapsh, continued with the election of - then a murky assassination attempt on - his successor, Aleksandr Ankvab. The ensuing challenges make the integrity of the country’s institutions and processes even more important, says George Hewitt.
The story of elections in Abkhazia since the end of the fourteen-month war with Georgia in 1993 has been an honourable one for a young state scarred by the legacy of conflict and destruction and subject to many international pressures, threats and misunderstandings. In the last year, Abkhazia's democratic experience has continued with the election of a new president in August 2011 following the death of Sergej Bagapsh, and with legislative elections in March 2012. The constitutional processes governing these elections were established in the e
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