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Local Television Taken Off Air In Abkhazia

1 November 2004 -- Workers at Abkhaz television today appealed to authorities in the breakaway Georgian republic to help put broadcasts back on the air after programming was halted earlier in the day.

Abkhaz authorities said they would allow broadcasting to resume after the republic's Interior Ministry restored order at the television station's headquarters.

The television station was surrounded on 29 October by supporters of presidential candidate Sergei Bagapsh, who has declared himself the victor in disputed elections last month.

The results of that election, as well as the poll's conduct, are still being reviewed by the republic's Supreme Court, which has rendered decisions only to nullify or overturn them hours later.

Meanwhile, Bagapsh's opponent in the elections, Raul Khadjimba, described the blockade of the television station as a "military seizure of the Abkhaz state teleradio company."