Abkhazia's Vice President Says President Khajimba Signed Resignation Letter

Abkhazia's Vice President Says President Khajimba Signed Resignation Letter AFP 2019 / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba signed a resignation letter, Vice President Aslan Bartsits said on Sunday amid unrest in the breakaway republic.

"For the sake of avoiding bloodshed and for the sake of maintaining at least some stability in the republic, [Khajimba] made a decision to sign the document," Bartsits said, adding that the resignation letter immediately came into force.

Earlier in the day, the head of Abkhazia's Central Election Commission said that the new presidential election in the republic is due to be held on 22 March.

On 10 January, an Abkhazian court ruled the results of the latest presidential election illegal. On 8 September 2019, Abkhazia held a runoff of the election, which was won by incumbent President Raul Khajimba, who got 47.3 per cent of votes. His main opponent, Alkhas Kvitsinia, the leader of the opposition Amtsakhara party, gained 46.1 per cent. The opposition insisted that Khajimba had to get more than 50 per cent of votes to become a winner.