Abkhazia's incumbent President Sergei Bagapsh has won presidential elections in the first round, with 59.4% of votes cast in his favor, the Central Election Commission said on Sunday.
Abkhazia held on Saturday its first presidential election since Russia recognized its independence in August 2008 after a brief war with Georgia. The winning candidate was required to win a majority of 50% plus one vote to be declared the winner in the first round of the election.
Former vice-president Raul Khadzimba received 15.4% of the votes, shipping director Zaur Ardzinba 10.8%, opposition leader Beslan Butba 7.9% and independent candidate Vitaly Bganba 1.5%, the Central Election Commission said.
Sixty-year-old Bagapsh has been president of the former Georgian republic since January 2005. In his election campaign he pledged to focus on the development of the Abkhazian economy, improve living standards and raise wages. He also said that in its foreign policy Abkhazia would continue strengthening political and economic ties with Russia.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has condemned the vote as an illegal Kremlin-backed gesture in an "occupied territory."
SUKHUMI, December 13 (RIA Novosti)