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Bagapsh Wins Presidential Election In Abkhazia

13 January 2005 -- The election commission in the separatist Abkhazia region of Georgia says Sergei Bagapsh has won the repeat presidential election.

Commission chief Batal Batagua said today that Bagapsh took 90.1 percent of the votes cast yesterday and Yakub Lakoba garnered 4.5 percent. He said 58 percent of voters cast ballots, making the election valid.

Bagapsh also won the most votes in the first election in October, but the Russian-backed candidate who finished second, Raul Khadjimba, disputed the results and refused to concede defeat.

Russian officials eventually brokered a power-sharing agreement allowing Khadjimba to become vice president under Bagapsh and have significant control of the Abkhaz administration.

Georgia's government wants to reassert its authority in Abkhazia and has accused Russia of interfering in the region.