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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Abkhazia Holds Polls

TBILISI, Georgia () -- Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze lashed out Monday at the separatist leaders of breakaway Abkhazia, calling the province's weekend election "a farce.''


Abkhazia held the first round of parliamentary elections Saturday. Separatist leader Vladislav Ardzinba said he was satisfied with the vote and pledged to continue peace talks with Georgia.


But Shevardnadze said the vote was illegal because it did not include the approximately 300,000 ethnic Georgians who fled Abkhazia during the war.


Twenty-six candidates won seats in the Abkhazian elections, Interfax said. Abkhazian election officials said about 80 percent of the area's 216,000 eligible voters cast ballots. The rest of the seats in the 35-member parliament will be decided in runoff elections.