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Abkhaz Parliament Calls On President To Resign

Abkhaz President Aleksandr Ankvab
Abkhaz President Aleksandr Ankvab
The parliament of the Georgian breakaway territory of Abkhazia has passed a measure calling on the region's de facto president to step down.

Only 21 of the 35 members of the Abkhaz parliament were present on May 29 when the vote was taken to ask President Aleksandr Ankvab to leave office before his term officially expired.

Of those present, 20 voted in favor of the measure and the remaining deputy abstained.

The opposition announced it had formed a Temporary People's Council to preserve order in the region.

Abkhaz parliament member Sergei Shamba said if Ankvab leaves voluntarily "we are ready to discuss all issues related to his safety and future guarantees."

Demonstrators in the Abkhaz capital, Sukhumi, stormed the administration building on May 27 but left after Ankvab promised to dismiss the government.

Abkhazia and Georgia's other breakaway region of South Ossetia were recognized as independent states by Moscow after a short Russian-Georgian war in 2008 but only a handful of other states have recognized the two regions' declarations of independence.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

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