SUKHUMI, Abkhazia -- The de facto Supreme Court in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia has annulled the results of last year’s “presidential election” and ordered a rerun of the vote.
The self-styled judges on January 10 overturned a lower court’s decision to recognize the results of September "presidential elections" won by Raul Khajimba, following an appeal by opposition presidential candidate Alkhas Kvitsinia.
The de facto Supreme Court ordered the election authorities to set the date for the new vote.
TASS reported that Khajimba and his supporters plan to appeal the ruling, which came as hundreds of opposition activists for a second day gathered in front of the separatist leader's office in the regional capital, Sukhumi, demanding him to resign.
On January 9, Abkhazia's de facto parliament called on Khajimba to step down, after demonstrators stormed the building housing his administration.
The self-styled lawmakers said in a resolution that the move aimed at avoiding “further destabilization in society,” which they said could have “irreparable consequences.”
Khajimba's office responded to the resolution with a statement saying such a move may "complicate the social and political situation," adding that "all differences must be solved solely through negotiations."
Moscow has recognized Abkhazia and Georgia’s other separatist region, South Ossetia, as independent states after a five-day Georgia-Russia war in August 2008.
Russian troops are now stationed in the two regions and Georgia and most of the international community consider both regions as occupied territories.