Abkhazian Revolution

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Abkhazian Revolution
Date May 27, 2014 – June 1, 2014 (4 days)
Location Abkhazia[Note 1]
Caused by
  • Abkhazian nationalism[1]
  • Lack of economic reforms[1][2]
  • Ethnic Georgians getting Abkhazian citizenship and passports[2]
  • Russians looking into buying Abkhazian property under new security alliance[2]
Resulted in

The Abkhazian Revolution took place in 2014, when President Aleksandr Ankvab resigned after hundreds of demonstrators stormed his office.[3] After mass protests in the capital Sukhumi and the occupation of his office on 27 May,[4] Ankvab fled to his hometown of Gudauta[5] and ultimately resigned on 1 June, after previously denouncing the demonstration as an attempted coup d'état.[6][7]

The uprising was attributed to public anger with Ankvab over his perceived liberal policy toward ethnic Georgians in Abkhazia, a breakaway republic with limited recognition. Although Abkhazia seceded from Georgia in 2008, the Ankvab administration allowed ethnic Georgians to register as voters and receive Abkhazian passports.[8][9]

The revolution led to an early presidential election being called in August 2014. Opposition leader Raul Khajimba was elected president with a narrow majority of the vote.[10]

Background

In May 2011, Sergei Bagapsh died in office, leading to the 2011 presidential election. Alexander Ankvab won with 54.9% of the votes.

In late April 2014, the opposition submitted a 5 May ultimatum to President Ankvab to dismiss the government and make radical reforms.[8]

Timeline until Alexander Ankvab's resignation

  • May 27: In the centre of Sukhumi 10,000 supporters of the Abkhaz opposition gathered.[11] On the same day, President Aleksandr Ankvab's headquarters in Sukhumi were stormed by opposition groups led by Raul Khadjimba, forcing him into flight to Gudauta.[12] The opposition claimed that the protests were sparked by poverty, but the main point of contention was President Ankvab's liberal policy towards ethnic Georgians in the Gali region. The opposition said these policies could endanger Abkhazia's ethnic Abkhazian identity.[8] Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to act in response to the political unrest in Abkhazia.[9] (See Issue of ethnic Georgians)
  • May 28: During the night, Russia's Deputy Security Council Secretary Rashid Nurgaliyev met with Ankvab, who described the events as an “armed coup attempt.” It was also reported that Ankvab met with Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov, who had traveled to Sukhumi with Nurgaliyev. On May 28 Surkov also met with opposition leaders Raul Khajimba, Sergei Shamba, Akhra Bzhaniya, and Vitaly Gabniy, as well as with the lawmakers of Abkhazia’s parliament.[13] On May 30 media reported that Ankvab moved to Russian Federation military base in Gudauta due to security concerns.[14]
  • May 31: The Abkhaz parliament appointed speaker of the parliament Valeri Bganba as an acting President. It also decided to hold an early presidential election on August 24. The resolution said that the document was adopted "in connection with Alexander Ankvab's inability to exercise the powers and responsibilities of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia..." President Ankvab slammed parliament for urging him to step down and for a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet.[15]
  • June 1: Ankvab resigned "with the goal of preserving stability in the country". Demonstrators started celebrating in the streets of Sukhumi. Acting President Valeri Bgangba stated that his main task now would be to hold a successful early presidential election. Ankvab stated that he will run in the election.[16]

Timeline after Alexander Ankvab's resignation

  • June 2: With his first Presidential decree, Bganba accepted Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaia's resignation (submitted earlier on the same day), appointed Vice Premier Vladimir Delba as acting Prime Minister, and dismissed the Cabinet, requesting its members to continue performing their duties in an acting fashion until the election and the appointment of a new Cabinet.[17] In accordance with the original demands of the protesters, Bganba also dismissed Timur Gogua and Beslan Arshba as Heads of the Tkvarcheli and Gali Districts, respectively,[18] and proposed to Parliament to dismiss Safarbei Mikanba as Prosecutor General.[19]
  • June 3: Acting President Valeri Bgangba stated that his main task now would be to hold a successful early presidential election. Ankvab stated that he will run in the election.[20]
Chairman of the Central Election Committee Batal Tabagua announced that the Committee had begun preparations for the Presidential election set for 24 August, that candidates could be nominated between 25 June and 14 July and that parties registered less than five months before the election date would not be eligible to nominate candidates.[21]
Valeri Bganba dismissed Indira Vardania as First Vice Premier, Beslan Arshba as Vice Premier (upon his own request) and Murman Jopua as head of the Ochamchira District (upon his own request).[22][23][24][25]
  • June 4: Head of the Presidential Administration Beslan Kubrava and Security Council Secretary Nugzar Ashuba resigned, accusing the opposition of carrying out a witch hunt and imposing its decisions on the interim authorities.[26]
  • June 5: The People's Assembly voted to dismiss Saferbei Mikanba as Prosecutor General.[27]
  • June 6: Bganba appointed Deputy Prosecutor General Zurab Agumava as Acting Prosecutor General and Zurab Margania as First Deputy Head of the State Security Service.[28][29]
  • June 9: Bganba appointed Astamur Tania as acting Head of the Presidential Administration and Avtandil Gartskia as acting Security Council Secretary.[30][31] Raul Lolua, Head of the State Security Service's Special Forces Centre, appointed First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs to carry out the duties of Otar Khetsia, who was (put) on paid leave.[32] (Bganba would formally dismiss Khetsia and appoint Lolua as Acting Minister on 4 August.[33])
  • June 13: Bganba appointed Beslan Butba as acting Vice Premier.[34]

Subsequent events

On 27 June 2016, following a request by the opposition, the Prosecutor's Office published its assessment of the events surrounding Ankvab's resignation, and declared that it found no criminal actions to investigate.[35] On 30 June, opposition leaders criticised the prosecutor office's analysis, in particular its claim that Ankvab's succession had been resolved in accordance with the Constitution of Abkhazia, and announced they would challenge the decision in Supreme Court.[36]

See also

Note

  1. ^ Abkhazia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.

References

  1. ^ a b "Georgia Abkhazia: Leader 'flees' protesters in Sukhumi". BBC. May 28, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Analysis: Unrest in Abkhazia". May 28, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Abkhazia: the post-Soviet revolution the world blinked and missed". The Guardian. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "More Post-Soviet Revolutions: Enter Abkhazia". Eurasianet.org. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Georgia Abkhazia: Leader 'flees' protesters in Sukhumi". BBC News. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  6. ^ David M. Herszenhorn (May 28, 2014). "Presidential Building Is Stormed in Restless Georgian Region". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ David M. Herszenhorn (June 1, 2014). "President of Georgian Abkhazia Resigns Under Pressure". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "Analysis: Unrest in Abkhazia". BBC. 2014-05-28. 
  9. ^ a b "Georgia calls global community to respond to Abkhazia's political crisis". Agenda.ge. 2014-05-28. 
  10. ^ "Raul Khajimba becomes the fourth Abkhazian president". The Messenger Online. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Глава Абхазии отправил в отставку правительство после попытки штурма оппозицией администрации президента". 2014-05-27. 
  12. ^ "Georgia Abkhazia: Leader 'flees' protesters in Sukhumi". BBC News. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Putin's Aides Meet Abkhazian Leader, Opposition Over Crisis". RFE/RL. 2014-05-29. 
  14. ^ (in Russian) {{cite web|url=http://itar-tass.com/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/1227967 |title=Президент Абхазии находится на военной базе РФ в Гудауте |date=2014 |publisher=[[ITAR-TASS}]]}
  15. ^ "Abkhazia parliament appoints chairman as interim president, sets early presidential poll". The Voice of Russia. 2014-05-31. 
  16. ^ "Situation in Abkhazia quiet, successful presidential election main task now - Bgangba". ITAR-TASS. June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Исполняющий обязанности президента Абхазии Валерий Бганба ознакомил членов Кабинета министров со своим первым указом". Apsnypress. 2 June 2014. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Тимур Гогуа и Беслан Аршба освобождены от должностей глав Администраций Ткуарчалского и Галского районов". Apsnypress. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Валерий Бганба внес в парламент представление об освобождении Сафарбея Миканба от должности Генерального прокурора". Apsnypress. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "Situation in Abkhazia quiet, successful presidential election main task now - Bgangba". ITAR-TASS. June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ "ЦИК Абхазии начал подготовку к выборам президента". Apsnypress. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Индира Вардания освобождена от исполнения обязанностей первого вице-премьера". Apsnypress. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Беслан Эшба подал заявление об освобождении от обязанностей вице-премьера РА". Apsnypress. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Беслан Эшба освобожден от исполнения обязанностей вице-премьера". Apsnypress. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Мурман Джопуа освобожден от должности главы администрации Очамчырского района". Apsnypress. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Руководитель администрации Президента Беслан Кубрава и секретарь Совбеза РА Нугзар Ашуба написали заявления о своей отставке". Apsnypress. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "Генеральный прокурор Сафарбей Миканба отстранен от должности". Apsnypress. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  28. ^ "Зураб Агумава назначен исполняющим обязанности Генерального прокурора РА". Apsnypress. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "Маргания Зураб назначен первым заместителем председателя Службы Госбезопасности". Apsnypress. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "Автандил Гарцкия назначен исполняющим обязанности секретаря Совета безопасности Абхазии". Apsnypress. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  31. ^ "Астамур Тания назначен исполняющим обязанностируководителя Администрации президента Абхазии". Apsnypress. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  32. ^ "Владимир Делба призвал всех руководителей министерств и ведомств более ответственно и внимательно относиться к работе". Apsnypress. 10 June 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "Отар Хеция освобожден от исполнения обязанностей министра внутренних дел Республики Абхазия". Apsnypress. 4 August 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Беслан Бутба назначен исполняющим обязанности вице-премьера". Apsnypress. 13 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "ГЕНПРОКУРАТУРА НЕ УВИДЕЛА СОСТАВА ПРЕСТУПЛЕНИЯ В СОБЫТИЯХ 27 МАЯ 2014 ГОДА". Abkhazia Inform. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016. 
  36. ^ Sharia, Vitali (30 June 2016). "Оппозиционеры оспорят ответ Генпрокуратуры в суде". Echo of the Caucasus. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 
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