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Abkhaz Supreme Court Orders Vote Recount

27 October 2004 -- Abkhazia's Supreme Court has ordered a recount of all ballots cast during the disputed 3 October presidential election.

The decision was reached late yesterday after a weeklong hearing.

The court has decided to set up a three-member commission to recount the ballots. The operation is due to start today.

Earlier this month, Abkhazia's Central Election Commission pronounced opposition candidate Sergei Bagapsh the winner of the polls with more than 50 percent of the vote. But government candidate and former minister Raul Khajimba had appealed against the decision, saying the election was fraudulent and demanding that a new vote be held.

Abkhazia won de facto independence in the early 1990s after a war with Georgia.

(ITAR-TASS/Civil Georgia/AFP)