The de facto parliament in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia has called on the separatist region's leader, Raul Khajimba, to step down.
In a resolution adopted on January 9, the self-styled lawmakers said the move aimed at avoiding “further destabilization in society,” which they said could have “irreparable consequences.”
After the vote, Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Khajimba as saying: "I am staying in office and performing my constitutional duties."
Earlier in the day, demonstrators stormed the building housing the de facto presidential administration and demanded the separatist leader’s resignation.
An RFE/RL correspondent in the regional capital, Sukhumi, said dozens of protesters broke into the building, breaking almost all of the windows on the first floor while hundreds more outside chanted "Khajimba, Go Away!"
Khajimba was not thought to be in the building during the incident.
The protesters had first gathered in front of the building of the breakaway region's de facto Supreme Court, which was scheduled to hear opposition presidential candidate Alkhas Kvitsinia's appeal against a lower court’s decision to recognize the results of a September "presidential election" won by Khajimba.
Minor clashes between pro-Khajimba activists and their opponents took place during the rally but no injuries were reported.
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.