Vitaly Sharia / EKHO KAVKAZA ― Today, at the ARSMIRA [Association of Mass Media Workers of the Republic of Abkhazia -ed.]. venue, a joint briefing took place, involving the Republican political parties 'FNEA' and 'Apsny', as well as Republican public organisations 'Aruaa', 'AND', 'Aamta', and 'Akh'yatsa'.
Temur Gulia, Chairman of the Aruaa Supreme Council, read out the "Demands of political parties and public organisations to the head of state":
In light of incompetence and failed policies across all spheres of state life, specifically:
- The complete absence of promised economic and social reforms.
- Failure to implement measures to protect citizens during the coronavirus pandemic. The lack of timely and coordinated actions to acquire vaccines, which resulted in the collapse of medical institutions and the death of our citizens.
- The cancellation of the electronic payment system for pensioners, carried out under a fabricated pretext during the pandemic.
- The legalisation of cryptocurrency mining activities, which has led to a severe energy crisis, a significant deterioration in the quality of life of citizens, and multibillion-dollar losses for the state.
- Promoting amendments to the "Energy Law" that pave the way for predatory privatisation of energy sector assets. Unjustified increase in electricity tariffs.
- Gross technical violations and inflated prices during the repair of the Achguara power line.
- The complete lack of transparency in decision-making by the authorities. Systematic violations of laws on access to information and media."
- Promoting foreign policy initiatives that contribute to the isolation of our state. A critical weakening of efforts to maintain relations with compatriots in Turkey and the Middle East.
- Signing an agreement on the transfer of part of the territory of the city of Pitsunda to the ownership and jurisdiction of a foreign state, carried out with gross violations of legislation.
- Promoting a bill on apart-hotels, which poses a threat to the demographic balance in Abkhazia.
- Legalisation of trade with Georgia, issuance of permits for opening duty-free shops on the border with Georgia.
- Insufficient and chaotic actions of leadership in strengthening the country's defence capabilities. Incorrect assessment of military threats and related army funding priorities.
- The absence of economic growth in domestic production, exports, and a deficit in the Republican budget of more than one and a half billion rubles (around $19M).
Subsequently, the demands for the president to sign a decree on the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia and several others were voiced. And finally:
"If within two weeks the head of state does not fulfil all our demands and does not sign a decree on the resignation of the anti-people's Cabinet of Ministers, political parties and public organisations will announce the date of protests in the city of Sukhum."
After that, the chairman of the "AND" public organisation, Adgur Ardzinba, took the floor and said, among other things:
"This is quite a harsh statement, but it is caused by the fact that for three years, the authorities have been deliberately and consistently pursuing an anti-people policy. The national agenda is completely absent. Demographic issues, issues of the nation's health, issues of the nation's education, issues of cultural development, the Abkhazian language, all these issues and many others, no less important, are relegated to the background. Today's leadership agenda is solely about promoting the interests of foreign oligarchs, big capital, who are trying to seize the best territories, resources, and lands of Abkhazia. In this model, which is being created before our eyes, there is no Abkhazian people, there is no us. And all this encourages us, all together, to stand up for our people... Of course, there may be many questions directly to the president, why we are talking about the Cabinet of Ministers. We think, first of all, about our people. This is a civilised way. Nothing terrible will happen if the Cabinet of Ministers is dismissed. This Cabinet of Ministers, which is operating today, is already the seventeenth in a row. There will be the eighteenth, and if it fails, there will be the nineteenth. Naturally, we, as opposition representatives, opposition leaders, do not claim any positions, so there are no speculations on this topic either. This will be a signal from the head of state that he is turning to the people, that he is returning to the national agenda. If this is not done, then we will be forced, as was said above, to appeal to the people of Abkhazia and here, in the city of Sukhum, to specify the time and date of a mass protest action and organise a rally."
This article was published by Ekho Kavkaza and is translated from Russian.