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Abkhaz Officials Say Only 13 Of 35 Legislative Seats Filled

Authorities in Georgia's breakaway Black Sea region of Abkhazia said fewer than half of the legislative seats were filled as a result of the first round of parliamentary elections on March 10.

The Central Election Commission in the disputed region said 13 candidates won a majority of votes needed to win a seat. Turnout was about 44 percent.

Nearly 150 candidates were running for the legislature's 35 seats.

A second-round runoff vote for the remaining 22 election districts is scheduled for March 24.

Georgia says the polls are illegitimate because they are being held under Kremlin "occupation" -- a reference to the thousands of Russian troops stationed in Abkhazia since the Georgia-Russia war of 2008.

Moscow recognized Abkhazia and the breakaway region of South Ossetia as independent states after the 2008 war.

Based on AFP reports

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