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Situation In Abkhazia Calm, But Tension Remains

15 November 2004 -- Authorities in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia say the situation in the capital Sukhum is slowly going back to normal after the recent political turmoil that saw opposition supporters take control of all main administrative buildings.

Parliament has resumed work and Vice President Valeri Arshba told Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency today that the building that houses the government and the presidential administration is now under police control.

Arshba, however, said that Prime Minister Nodar Khashba is working under heightened protection at an undisclosed site outside Sukhum.

Opposition supporters on 12 November stormed the presidential administration and the government headquarters, demanding that their leader should be allowed to take over as Abkhazia's new leader.

Election officials have declared opposition candidate Sergei Bagapsh the winner of the 3 October presidential election. But the outgoing administration has ignored the ruling and cited alleged fraud to demand a new vote be held.


For full coverage of the tensions in Abkhazia, see RFE/RL's webpage on Abkhazia and Georgia.