“The creation of the party is planned in the spring. Before the presidential elections (March 22) we will work in Abkhazia in the format of meetings, after the elections we will hold a competition of young specialists, by the end of the spring we will go to the constituent congress and the creation of the party, ”Ardzinba said. It will be unclear whether he will support someone in the upcoming presidential election, along with colleagues in a future party, it depends on who declares his participation in the campaign and the programs presented, the politician explained.
29-year-old Inal Ardzinba was born in Sukhum, in the past was an employee of the presidential administration of Russia, in 2014-2018 he worked in the department for socio-economic cooperation with the CIS countries, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In it, he headed the department in charge of Ukraine. He is a relative of the first president of Abkhazia, Vladislav Ardzinba, whose clan is considered one of the most influential in the republic. The founder of the Amtsakhara party, the hero of Abkhazia, Aka Ardzinba, is his uncle. Amtsakhara infrastructure will be used to create a new party.
Ardzinba has long been involved in the public life of Abkhazia. Since 2017, on his initiative, the charity movement “Abkhaz Goodwill Ambassadors” has been operating. In the summer of this year, the possibility of his appointment as prime minister in case of victory in the presidential election of the opposition candidate Alhas Kvitsiniya (lost to Khajimba in the second round with a minimum gap) was discussed.
Now there is a political crisis in partially recognized Abkhazia. On January 12, after the mass protests and opposition seizure of the presidential administration building, the head of the republic, Raul Khadjimba, resigned. Protesters demanded to cancel the results of the September presidential election. One of the leaders of the protests became commander brigades of the army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic Ahra Avidzba.
Following the 2017 election, representatives of the “Forum of National Unity” (supported by Khadzhimba), the party of veterans of the Georgian-Abkhaz war Amtsakhara, the People’s Front for Justice and Development and the Ainar party entered the 35-seat parliament.
Experts interviewed by RBC note the weak development of the political system in the republic, including due to the fact that the parliament is elected by the majority system.
In the classical sense, there are no established, organized and influential political parties in Abkhazia, and the existing ones can be considered quasi-parties, says Oleg Dameniya, director of the Center for Social and Economic Research ANO. Against this background, a youth-oriented party can be popular, he said. A sociological survey conducted in the republic at the beginning of last year by the Russian Foundation for the Study of Democracy Problems of Maxim Grigoriev revealed interest of voters in updating the political system: 86% of respondents said that there are not enough new people in Abkhazian politics (about 2.5 thousand people were polled for the whole republic).
“Abkhazian society has a request for the emergence of new political forces, a third force, Ardzinba’s surname has been called more than once, it was clear that he will somehow be present in republican politics,” said RBC senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Urals -Volga Region Institute of Oriental Studies RAS Alexander Skakov. He drew attention to the fact that it is not yet clear how the cooperation of the new political force with Amtsakhara will be built. According to Inal Khashig, editor of the Abkhaz newspaper Chegemskaya Pravda, the creation of a new party can be considered an application for the next five-year cycle, which will begin after the spring presidential election. In 2022, parliamentary elections should be held in the republic according to the plan, but experts do not exclude that they can be held ahead of schedule.
The size of the potential electorate of the youth party is difficult to assess, says Damenia. A census has not been conducted in the republic for a long time, and youth government structures practically do not work. The new party is being created just in order to give young people a working tool to change the situation, to help them realize their creative aspirations, Ardzinba claims.