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    Abkhazia to reveal preliminary election results on Sunday noon

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    Preliminary results of the first presidential election in Abkhazia after it formally broke away from Georgia last year will be revealed on Sunday noon

    Preliminary results of the first presidential election in Abkhazia after it formally broke away from Georgia last year will be revealed on Sunday noon, the head of the republic's Central Election Commission said.

    Batal Tabagua has declared the presidential election as accomplished as 58% of voters turned to the polling stations on Saturday with the necessary threshold of 50%.

    Incumbent leader Sergei Bagapsh is seeking a second term in office in the republic, which has 130,000 registered voters.

    Abkhazia was recognized as an independent state by Russia in August 2008, after the Russia-Georgia war over South Ossetia. The only other countries to recognize the two republics have been Nicaragua and Venezuela.

    The election has four other contenders - former vice-president Raul Khadzhimba, opposition leader Beslan Butba, shipping director Zaur Ardzinba and independent candidate Vitaly Bganba. The winning candidate must garner a majority of 50% plus one vote.

    A delegation of Russian lawmakers has arrived in Abkhazia to observe the election.

    Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has condemned the vote as an illegal Kremlin-backed gesture in an "occupied territory."

    SUKHUMI, December 13 (RIA Novosti)

     

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