Conspiracy of Abkhazian bloggers
28/02/2011 19:30
Giorgi Tsiklauri

The unexpected resignation of Daur Tarba from the post of "deputy prime minister" of the Abkhazian regime caused a lot of rumours in Sukhumi. The thing is that he has always been considered as not just a colleague, but a figure very close to Sergei Bagapsh. It was Tarba who was a backbone of the Bagapsh team and who led his party Edinaya Abkhazia. Whether he retains his post in the party is yet unknown. The only comment that was made by Tarba after resignation was standard words about his voluntary resignation from the position.

But rumours spread in Abkhazia and they poured into the Abkhazian blogs and Internet forums. According to these rumours, it was Bagapsh himself perturbed by behaviour of his protégé, who demanded resignation from Tarba. A conspiracy directed against the head of the puppet regime was named as cause of outrage. Allegedly Daur Tarba, "vice president" Alexander Ankvab and interior minister Leonid Dzyapsh-ipa were involved in this conspiracy. This became known to Bagapsh and he showed the trusted official the door.

Others say that there was no "conspiracy", but there was an ordinary, though unpleasant for the Abkhazian "president" discussion involving the above mentioned and some other persons. That, it should be noted, usually means the same thing, or something very similar in content in the court intrigues. Some of those present recorded the conversation and gave the recording to Sergei Bagapsh to listen. Or maybe they just told him verbally but in very convincing manner. This was followed by response and Tarba was not less convincingly asked to leave his cosy spot.

And it really was a cosy spot. According to the news agency Apsnipress, in the Abkhazian leadership Daur Tarba oversaw issues of development of the Abkhazian language, science, economics, health resorts and tourism, transport, communications, environment, immigration and local governance. He also coordinated the work of the ministry of economy, committee on repatriation, repatriation fund, committee on resorts and tourism, committee on privatization, committee on environment and natural resources, the road fund, environmental fund and development of the Abkhazian language.

Of course, it was only rumours and gossip. But it should be taken into account that this kind of spread of information is one of the most informative in Abkhazian conditions. Current Abkhazian society is a very small closed society. And specifics of the internal political structure is that there is a clan - real people, united together based on close kinship, family ties and place of residence behind every more or less influential official. Thus, the Abkhaz society, riddled with numerous horizontal communications, is almost entirely involved in politics and is well-versed in the situation - even at the level of talks "in the kitchen." And here, more than anywhere else, is justified the saying that there is no smoke without fire ...

However, this version raises a substantial question: Tarba okay, but why sanctions did not have touch Ankvab and Dzyapsh-ipa? After all, they should have been dismissed as well? At first glance, it would have been logical, but one should keep in mind that those persons are of completely different order. Ankvab is a veteran of the Abkhazian politics, a political heavyweight, who forms a sort of tandem with Bagapsh. For many years he was after power and can easily be "digging" under a person with whom he has to share this very power now. And for Bagapsh getting rid of Ankvab is too serious and drastic a step with unpredictable consequences. It's not the same as the resignation of, though influential, but still his personal henchmen who decided to defect to another camp.

A similar situation is with Dzyapsh-ipa, although this figure is not as impressive. A relatively new face in the Abkhazian politics, he, however, quickly began to gain credibility thanks to tangible progress in bringing order to its subordinate body. At that, chief Abkhazian policeman has a public image of a principled, modern man and that of a man of business. He is already seen as an influential and independent figure in local political kitchen that is capable to seriously strengthen a camp which he decides to join.

Thus, if rumours circulating in Abkhazia have ground, it turns out that Bagapsh "showed character" venting his anger on the weakest of the alleged "conspirators". And if Daur Tarba really resigned voluntarily, as he claims, it is not his first sudden act in recent period. On January 21st he found himself in the centre of a political scandal around leader of the Abkhazian opposition People's Party Yakub Lakoba. Having uttered the sacramental words about "enemies of the people" Tarba incurred a wave of condemnation of the Abkhazian society that started to talk about the authorities' desire to plunge Abkhazia into the time of the Stalinist repression. And five days later, he surprised everyone by going to Gudauta to the opposition meeting. And, he had to hear to a lot of unpleasant things from them while listlessly justifying himself and the government.

This step can be interpreted as an attempt to restore its reputation in the circles that Tarba offended too much by too zealously defending the position of the Abkhazian authorities. A desire to take this step seems logical, if former "deputy prime minister" is playing a specific political game at that. Either that of his own or of the team and on the opposition ground/ fieeld. As Sukhumi journalist, and chief editor of the Chegemskaya Pravda newspaper Inal Khashig says Daur Tarba is "quite an influential figure, but young and ambitious". Khashig links his resignation primarily with "conflict of interests within the government itself", which has already started to actively prepare for the upcoming "presidential" elections in 2014.

"It is the last term for President Bagapsh - said Khashig on radio Ekho Kavkaza. And now inside the government two heavyweights - vice-president Alexander Ankvab and Prime Minister Sergei Shamba – are seen as candidates for the presidential chair. But I think that Daur Tarba is from the category of people that is pushed by a new wave of politicians within the government that is already tired of heavyweights. And, possibly, the current retirement is an opportunity to play one's game. Maybe it will be a game of Daur Tarba or maybe that of some other figures from the Edynaya Abkhazia party.

Against this background it is particularly interesting whether Tarba manages to keep his post as head of the "ruling party". And if not, what will be a reaction following his leave in the largest political force in Abkhazia, which states that it counts about 10% of the current population of the region in its ranks.

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