Vice president of Georgian rebel region wins poll

By REUTERS
August 27, 2011 12:51

 
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The vice president of Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, won the presidential race in the breakaway Georgian region on Saturday, a victory that is likely to keep the territory in Russia's sphere of influence.

Friday's polls, which Tbilisi says were illegitimate, were called after President Sergei Bagapsh died in May.

According to the Central Election Commission, Ankvab won 54.86 percent of the votes. The runners-up were Prime Minister Sergei Shamba and former KGB agent Raul Khadzhimba, the most vociferous critics of Abkhazia's growing dependence on Russia.

Analysts had expected Ankvab, a former Soviet apparatchik and Moscow businessman, to win the election in the region of 200,000 on the Black sea coast.

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