SUKHUM / AQW'A ― The leader of the People's Unity Forum, Aslan Bartsits, voiced his criticisms of President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania's recent press conference statements. Bartsits lamented the lack of new and insightful updates from the President and his seeming detachment from the realities faced by the citizens of Abkhazia.
Bartsits commented, "Neither our society, active citizens, nor I heard anything new. A lot of time has passed since the election, and it is time to provide a clear analysis of the successes and failures. Yet, this was missing."
When questioned about the President's citation of figures that supposedly show a growth in incomes, Bartsits responded sceptically. "When the head of state refers to 'the figures,' I'm led to believe he's looking at the wrong ones. There are objective statistics available. I'd like to hear a comparison of the budget's growth under the previous government he so despised and the results now."
Bartsits also expressed concerns about the President's narrative around foreign investments and Russian assistance. "There's a glaring gap between the President's understanding and the daily struggles of the citizens. Rising prices, surging tariffs, and stagnant salaries are pressing issues. The President's focus on seeking Russian aid raises questions about what the administration is doing to generate revenue domestically," Bartsits remarked.
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Furthermore, Bartsits took umbrage at the President's categorisation of "good" and "bad" journalists. "Such judgments should not come from the head of state. If a journalist violates laws, let the courts decide. The president can have opinions but cannot pass judgments," he asserted.
The President's claim of positive cooperation with the opposition was also addressed. Bartsits, having been a part of such discussions, had a different perspective. "There was never a genuine attempt at dialogue. We're speaking different languages. The President prioritises foreign investments, while we emphasise development and internal resources. How can we progress in such a setting?"
Drawing attention to the nation's tumultuous past, which he termed as "coups", Bartsits reminded that such unrest hasn't disappeared. He stressed the importance of remembering the past, especially considering the President's involvement in previous upheavals.
In conclusion, Bartsits stated, "This press conference doesn't warrant much commentary.