Heavy turnout at Abkhazia election
International monitors point to a heavy turnout at the ongoing early presidential election in Abkhazia.
170 polling stations opened up in 35 constituencies earlier this Friday, with two of them outside the republic, namely in Moscow and Cherkessk, the capital of the Karachai-Circassian Republic, in the Caucasus.
Three candidates are running for Abkhaz president: acting president Alexander Ankvab; prime minister Sergei Shamba; and the leader of the People’s Unity Forum opposition party Raul Khadzhimba.
A candidate should poll more than 50% of the votes to win the election.
If no candidate secures the required number of votes, a run-off is due to be held. Almost 150 international observers, including those from Russia, are monitoring the election. Voting has coincided with the third anniversary of international recognition of the Abkhaz Republic.
The early election was called after President Sergei Bagapsh died in May this year.