of November 26, 1996

In protest to the so-called parliamentary elections, organized by the separatist authority of Abkhazia, a plebiscite - public referendum with voting by refugee voters, people, forcibly moved from the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic - took place November 23d, 1996, in Georgia and in a number of foreign countries (the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Turkey, Israel, Greece), in accordance with the legislation of Georgia and by decree of the president of Georgia.

More than 223,000 voters, i.e. about 70% of the electorate who lived in Abkhazia before the military conflict, participated in the plebiscite.

As might be expected, the people questioned, amongst whom there were many Abkhazians, Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Jews and representatives of other nationalities together with Georgians, unanimously condemned the so-called parliamentary elections and declared them illegal.

The plebiscite thus confirmed the illegality of the elections conducted by the Abkhaz separatists, as they were prepared ignoring the will of the real majority of refugee voters, people that forcibly fled from Abkhazia under menace. The most of violation turned out in Gali Region, where unprecedented falsification took place during the election campaign.

The conducting of the elections is the separatist regime's act of defiance to the international community, and it would have been impossible for those elections to be hold without the support of influential forces from Russia.

Fortunately this time the attempt of separatist regime to mislead not only the Abkhazian population, but also the world community, has failed.

The publicly conducted plebiscite unveiled the separatist regime's unsuccessful attempt to legalize results of ethnic cleansing by means of pseudo-elections.

The Parliament of Georgia considers the conducting of the elections to be the separatist regime's political suicide, as that authority, which not only lacks the confidence of the majority of population but is also blamed in ethnic cleansing and acts of genocide, is totally unable to gain recognition or the support of the world community.

The Parliament of Georgia wishes to express its satisfaction to leaderships of the UN, OSCE, European Union, Europarliament, the CIS and other neighborly countries for their negative position upon the illegal elections conducted by the self-announced government of Abkhazia, and hopes that with direct assistance of the commonwealth of nations the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict in Abkhazia will be accelerated.

(Archive of the Parliament of Georgia)