23:52 GMT +320 February 2017
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    Ankvab wins Abkhazia's presidential election with 54.9% of vote

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    Alexander Ankvab, the acting president of the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia, has won the presidential election taking 54.9% of the vote, Central Electoral Commission chief Batal Tabagua said, announcing the final tally on Saturday.

    Alexander Ankvab, the acting president of the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia, has won the presidential election taking 54.9% of the vote, Central Electoral Commission chief Batal Tabagua said, announcing the final tally on Saturday.

    "There have been no serious violations affecting the election campaign," Tabagua told RIA Novosti.

    The turnout was 72%.

    The runners-up were Prime Minister Sergei Shamba and purported opposition leader Raul Khadzhimba.

    All the three are against any reunification with Georgia.

    Abkhazia went to the polls on Friday following the death of President Sergei Bagapsh in May.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Ankvab on his victory but Tbilisi called the polls illegitimate and NATO said it would not recognize them.

    "The alliance reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

    Russia has thousands of troops in Abkhazia and issues Russian passports to its residents.

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