SUKHUM / AQW'A ― A meeting took place at the House of Culture in the city of Gudauta, where Adgur Ardzinba, the head of the public organization "Abkhazian People's Movement" and a leader of the opposition political groups, met with locals from the area.
The meeting was organised to discuss the current socio-political state of Abkhazia. In attendance were Parliament members, district leaders, Gudauta district assembly deputies, as well as prominent public and political figures from the country.
During the meeting, Anatoly Tvanba, a member of the Council of Elders of Duripsh village, commented that for the past 30 years, two opposing forces - the government and opposition - have been present in Abkhazia, and he treats them with equal consideration. He expressed his concern about the skyrocketing prices of goods, including gasoline, due to the artificial shortage created by the authorities, leading to a significant impact on the already impoverished citizens.
Tvanba also raised the issue of mining and pointed out that the problem is prevalent among officials, including the previous government. He specifically mentioned Adgur Ardzinba, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, who supported cryptocurrency mining. Moreover, Tvanba discussed the topic of demography and highlighted that the death rate in the country exceeds the birth rate.
Valery Arshba, the former Vice President and recipient of the Akhdz-Apsha Order II degree, expressed his disappointment in the lack of tangible improvements in Abkhazia. He stated that he, along with others, has been waiting for the revitalization of the economy's real sector, the enhancement of the social sphere, the implementation of innovative approaches, and the establishment of basic law and order in the country for the past three years.
Arshba clarified that he has never been a member of the opposition and has always maintained his stance on the importance of law and order. As someone who helped establish the modern Abkhazian state with Vladislav Ardzinba, the country's founder, Arshba recounted the struggles and triumphs of the past.
Despite the difficulties, the Abkhazian people persevered and rebuilt their country's economy and social structure. Arshba emphasized that they achieved this without external aid and by relying solely on their own resources. Having survived the war and the blockade, the people emerged with dignity and hope for a brighter future.
Arshba believed that the people's perseverance would pay off and bring forth a better tomorrow for future generations.
A Khuap villager spoke out, claiming no affiliation with either the ruling or opposition parties. According to the villager, numerous appeals and requests have been made to the authorities, but the country's limited budget makes it challenging to fulfill every demand. The villager emphasized that the budget only amounts to 8-9 billion rubles ($110 - $120 M), a fact often overlooked in discussions. This amount is insufficient to satisfy all the requirements raised in the community.
During the meeting, the primary speaker Adgur Ardzinba criticised the president for neglecting important matters such as demography, repatriation, education, culture, Abkhaz language, healthcare, and more for the past three years. In addition to these issues, Ardzinba also addressed concerns regarding drug addiction, security, and defence capabilities, which he believes are being overlooked by the government.
Ardzinba accused the authorities of creating an oligarchic model of government and said, "We are not in their project for the future of Abkhazia," and stated that "the Abkhazian people are the only authority in Abkhazia."
Ardzinba has stated that the current government is disregarding all proposals aimed at overcoming the crisis and is failing to respond to instances of corruption and violations of the Constitution.
"If we choose to remain silent, we risk depriving our children of a country. What we need is a dynamic and effective government, and the future of our country rests on our actions. It is up to each one of us to make a difference," Ardzinba emphasized.