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Abkhaz Court Calls For New Election

29 October 2004 -- The Supreme Court of Abkhazia has cancelled its decision that opposition candidate Sergei Bagapsh won an 3 October presidential election in the Georgian breakaway region, and is now calling for a new poll within two months.

Judge Georgy Akaba made the announcement early today, only hours after announcing that the court supported a decision by the Central Electoral Commission that Bagapsh defeated Raul Khajimba -- a government-backed candidate also supported by Russia.

Akaba's surprise reversal came shortly after several hundred Khajimba supporters blockaded the judge in his office.

Abkhazian Prime Minister Nodar Khashba described the situation as "complicated, but quiet." He said police are on high alert.

Abkhazia won de facto independence in the early 1990s after a war with Georgia. It is not recognized by the international community.

(ITAR-TASS/RFE/RL's Russian Service)