Map Attribute: Georgia, Ossetia, Russia and Abkhazia / Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that legislative elections held by Russia-backed separatists who control the breakaway Abkhazia region are yet another attempt at legitimizing the consequences of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasion, occupation and lasting aggression by Russia against Georgian statehood.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned the March 12 voting in the Black Sea region with issuing the following statement:
"The so-called elections take place in the context when the Russian Federation does not comply with its obligations under the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and in parallel with intensified military build-up continues the factual annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions through their integration into Russia’s military, political, economic and social system”
"At the same time, people displaced from Georgia's occupied territories are deprived of the right to return to the places of their residence whereas the population remaining in these regions suffer ethnic discrimination and gross violations of basic rights and freedoms”.
Abkhazia broke from Georgian control in a 1992-93 war. Russia recognized it as an independent country after Moscow fought a five-day war against Tbilisi in 2008, and has thousands of troops there.
The vast majority of nations consider Abkhazia part of Georgia and do not recognize elections there.
Election officials said 137 candidates from four political parties took part in the vote to fill the 35-seat People’s Assembly. Out of which, only 24 of them were nominated by political parties – Ainar (8), Amtsakhara (7), the Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia (6) and the People’s Front of Abkhazia for Justice and Development (3), and others were “independent candidates” nominated by “initiative groups.”
Based on reporting by RFE/RL, Agenda.ge, RIA and TASS