9 Jan 2020 22:51

Abkhaz parliament asks President Khajimba to resign voluntarily

SUKHUM. Jan 9 (Interfax) - The Abkhaz parliament has passed a resolution urging President Raul Khajimba to step down voluntarily to help stabilize the situation in the republic.

The resolution was backed by 19 parliamentarians, four others voted against it, and one abstained.

Opposition activists and supporters started a protest demonstration in Sukhum on Thursday. They insisted that the incumbent president actually did not garner enough vote in the presidential elections in 2019 and demanded that new elections be called. The protest started near the Abkhaz Drama Theater, after which the activists moved toward the presidential office and attempted to storm it. They blockaded the building later in the evening.

Parliamentarian Leonid Chamagua said at a parliamentary session that Khajimba had refused to meet the protesters' demand that he resign.

Khajimba himself told Interfax that the authorities were doing their utmost to put the situation back onto the constitutional track.

The president also made a statement calling on the people not to fall for provocations and vowed, if necessary, to declare a state of emergency. He also said the Abkhaz security agencies had been put on alert.

The presidential office qualified the unrest in Sukhum as a coup attempt.