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Breakaway Region Of Abkhazia Holds Snap Election

Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia has been holding a snap presidential election.

Four candidates are seeking to replace Aleksandr Ankvab, Abkhazia's de facto president who was forced to resign on June 1 following days of political upheaval.

The front-runner in the polls is Raul Khajimba, who has stood unsuccessfully for president three times since 2004.

All the candidates have spoken out in favor of a close partnership with Russia.

Russia provides financial support for Abkhazia, and has stationed some 4,000 troops there.

Georgia has called the election illegal.

Abkhazia separated from Georgia after the short Russian-Georgian war in 2008 but only a handful of countries have recognized the region's declaration of independence.

Based on reporting by dpa and Interfax