It will be difficult for Bagapsh to win the elections
16/10/2009 14:36
Salome Gogokhia

"Today Khajimba has the highest rating" – Levan Kiknadze

On the 12th of December the Abkhazian "presidential "elections will happen. So far candidates have not been officially named but in the period that is left till the elections there have been active discussions about who will take part in the battle for the presidential chair. As opposed to the previous elections the Kremlin does not openly reveal its favourite.

But Levan Kiknadze, the president of "the Club of Experts" is certain that Russian favourite still is Raul Khajimba, the former Vice President who had moved over to the opposition side. According to Kiknadze, Khajimba's rating today is high and he has a very real chance of winning.

Who has a chance to win and who will be supported by the Kremlin? Levan Kiknadze considers this person to be Raul Khajimba.

"Today Khajimba has he highest rating. It is possible for Khajimba and Butba to form a coalition. Their speeches and press-conferences in the pre-election period indicate that these two forces might unite against Bagapsh. The thing is that significant part of the population is dissatisfied with Bagapsh government. The situation is grave in Abkhazia. Discontent is being expressed with regards to Bagapsh's policy towards Russia. Almost the entire leverage was transferred to Russia. That's why this situation is used by the opposition and they are conducting their election campaign in this direction" – said Kiknadze.

He also said that corruption reached a high level during the period of Bagapsh governance. Economical leverage appeared in the hands of Bagapsh and his relatives. Selling, disposal, privatization became the main sources of income for the clan of Bagapsh.

"Many think that nobody there pays attention to this. But attention is being paid and population is gravely concerned with this. We cannot say that Khajimba, if he comes into power, will rectify this situation and will be more radical in his attitude towards Russia. Not at all. He will neither become pro-Abkhazian. On the contrary, Khajimba is the very person who will pursue Russian policy" – said Kiknadze.

The president of "the Club of Experts" is certain that it is Khajimba whom Russia will support. "Khajimba always was a favourite of Russia. Khajimba practically is a Russian general. So Russia most probably will support Khajimba

As to chances of Sergei Shamba, de-facto Abkhazian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kiknadze said that he does not have a chance to win in the elections. "For various reasons he has less supporters. He might not even put up himself as a candidate. He does not have a chance as he does not have electorate" – said Kiknadze.

(Short version of the article)

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