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Abkhaz Council of Elders endorses Official Election Result

Meeting in Sukhum on 23 November, the Abkhaz Council of Elders, which has no formal authority under the constitution but enjoys considerable respect among the population, ruled that Chernomorenergo head Sergei Bagapsh is the legal winner of the 3 October presidential election, Caucasus Press and ITAR-TASS reported.

The Central Election Commission proclaimed Bagapsh the winner on 11 October with 50.08 percent of the vote, but his defeated rival, former Prime Minister Raul Khadjimba, disputed that ruling, and outgoing President Vladislav Ardzinba called for a new ballot.

Council of Elders Chairman Pavel Adzinba ruled that Khadjimba should occupy a leading post in Bagapsh's team.

Adzinba said both men attended the council session and expressed readiness to work together, according to zerkalo.az on 24 November.

(RFE/RL 24.xi.04)

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