Abkhaz opposition leader Raul Hajimba has won in the country’s early presidential election with about 50 percent of votes, preliminary results say. The poll was held in Abkhazia after the previous head of state resigned following anti-government protests. According to preliminary data announced by Abkhazia’s Central Election Commission, Hajimba is winning with 50.57 percent of votes and is followed by Aslan Bzhania, who garnered just under 36 percent of votes.
130,000 people or up to 70 percent of voters took part in the snap election, according to the Commission. A 50 percent turnout was required for the voting to be recognized as valid.
There were four candidates fighting for the presidential post: Security Service chair Aslan Bzhania, former Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshba, Defense Minister Merab Kishmaria and opposition leader Raul Hajimba.
Three polling stations were opened for Abkhazian citizens in Russia’s Moscow and Cherkessk and Turkey’s Istanbul.