(Civil.Ge) — Voters in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia cast their ballots on March 12 to elect the 35-member National Assembly.
Abkhaz lawmakers are elected for a five-year term through a majoritarian system in single-mandate constituencies.
There are about 131,523 voters eligible to cast ballot in Sunday’s election, according to the region’s election administration. The figure is less than it was in 2011 presidential and 2012 parliamentary elections as thousands of ethnic Georgians, residing in Gali district, were removed from the voters list.
According to the region’s election administration, total of 137 candidates are running for seats in the region’s legislature; only 24 of them were nominated by political parties – Ainar (8), Amtsakhara (7), the Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia (6) and the People’s Front of Abkhazia for Justice and Development (3), and others were “independent candidates” nominated by “initiative groups.”
The same source reported that eight women and 28 incumbent lawmakers are running for the legislative seats. There are 128 ethnic Abkhaz, 8 ethnic Armenians and one ethnic Russian among the candidates.
Parliamentary elections come less than three months after protests in Sokhumi, the region’s capital, demanding the resignation of Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba.
Elections in Abkhazia are denounced as illegitimate by Tbilisi and the international community, except of Russia and few other countries, which have recognized Abkhazia.