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- Hitler calls on Georgians to win back Abkhazia
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- Baron Pyotr Karlovich Uslar: Inventor of the First Abkhaz Alphabet, by Stephen D. Shenfield
- Lesson to the West: Abkhazian independence is a fact, by Inal Khashig
- Abkhazia, from conflict to statehood, by George Hewitt
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|Abkhazia after Bagapsh, by Sergey Markedonov|
|Articles - Analysis|
|Tuesday, 14 June 2011 16:20|
The republic prepares unexpectedly to elect its third president, but Sergei Bagapsh is a hard act to follow.
Until May 29, there were no signs of political infighting in Abkhazia. But now, the death of Abkhazia’s second president, Sergei Bagapsh, has changed the country’s political agenda overnight. Bagapsh died unexpectedly and comparatively young (at the age of 62), and, more importantly, the Abkhaz leader died in the middle of his second term without leaving an heir.
Although none of the republic’s leading politicians have declared their desire to run for the vacant post, the most likely candidates are known. Under the Abkhaz Constitution, in the event of the president’s death, his duties shall be performed by the vice president until elections are held. Today, this is Alexander Ankvab, who has a reputation as a tough and pedantic law enforcement officer who favors a harsh crackdown on corruption. One of the youngest Soviet colonels, Ankvab oversaw Abkhazia’s law enforcement system during the armed conflict with Georgia and later joined the opposition where he was a vocal critic of President Ardzinba. In the 2004 elections, Ankvab himself could not run for president because he had not lived in the republic for five years, so he threw his weight behind Sergei Bagapsh. He remained close to Bagapsh, first as prime minister and then as vice president.
Sergei Markedonov is a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United States, Washington, D. C.
Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines