Republic of Abkhazia President A.Z. Ankvab’s address to the people
I appeal to you in connection with events whose consequences could be disastrous for the fate of the Abkhaz state.
On May 27, the opposition held a rally, after which there took place the seizure by force of the buildings of the Presidential Administration, the Government and state television. They are still occupied.
The authorities tried to negotiate with the opposition, headed by the Coordinating Council. But these negotiations did not lead to a search for compromise solutions.
My colleagues and I finally came to understand that the opposing side had not been tasked with reaching accord in the name of stability. They had received diametrically opposite instructions.
But for me, as Head of the State on whom lies the entire responsibility for the fate of the people, and as the legitimately elected President to whom the citizens have entrusted, without exaggeration, their lives, their children's lives, one thing was and remains the most important -- - the preservation of civil peace and the prevention of bloodshed. And in the situation which had arisen that risk is extremely high – forces are fighting for power that will stop at nothing and that are ready to sacrifice for the sake of their ambitions the lives of their compatriots, and the main achievement of our people - the freedom of Abkhazia.
For Aleksandr Ankvab no office, including the presidency, is the supreme value. If it were otherwise, I could have acted as my opponents are doing.
You have all seen from the very first days exactly what interests the opposition – sharing out [ministerial] offices. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The issue is not reforms of any kind. Their true interests and appetites will appear and grow with each passing day. Behind these appetites lies something much bigger: a danger to the Abkhaz state. In the battle for power, our sacred living space could easily be lost - Abkhazia could cease to exist..
I might add: I am sure that behind the assassination attempts on the president are forces that are actively supporting the opposition both spiritually and materially. One of the objectives of the coup d’etat is to secure the release of the terrorists on trial in that case.
It is also known that the physical removal of Ankvab was planned during the seizure of the Presidential Administration building.
I have remained in Abkhazia all the last few days, I never left, I held negotiations, I met with MPs, the government and representatives of society. It was not easy for me to convince my supporters, voters, people who until now have remained aloof from politics, that is imperative that emotions should not prevail, that it is necessary to use every means to prevent clashes.
People are outraged by the flagrant violation of the Constitution and moral norms, the aggressive attitude of the opposition, the dancing in the presidential administration as a celebration of victory over their own people.
At the same time, it is necessary to show restraint, not to succumb to provocations. It is based on the need to keep the country from catastrophe that I call on all those who at this critical time demonstrated their concern at what is happening to refrain from holding a nationwide gathering. I am sure that you will show understanding for my position and agree with it, however hard that may be for you.
I am grateful to all of you for this and do not doubt the sincerity of the support [you have] shown [me]. . In these days I have received hundreds of messages, hundreds of phone calls from people I know personally. But the overwhelming majority were from those I have never met. Their attitude to the fate of the country, and to me, and to the current difficult developments touched me very much. Once again, I realize all our efforts and work were not in vain, at least they were of some benefit to [our] fellow citizens. I never worked in any other way.
Today, after extensive consultations with representatives of the public, voters, [and] my advisors, I have come to a final decision. It does not meet the aspirations of most of our citizens or of those with whom the search in recent days for a way out of this situation was conducted. But, nevertheless, in view of the current circumstances, I believe it is the only true decision.
The most recent parliamentary rulings are not in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Abkhazia. However, in these conditions, I think only one of them politically acceptable, even if not legal – the decision to set the date of pre-term presidential elections.
Proceeding from that, with the aim of preserving stability in the country, in accordance with Article 65 of the Republic of Abkhazia Constitution, I am resigning from the post of President of the Republic of Abkhazia.
I urge everyone to remain calm, to preserve civic peace, and to hold new elections in a normal environment.
President of the Republic of Abkhazia
June 1, 2014