- Sergei Bagapsh
Сергей Васильевич Багапш
President of Abkhazia
February 12, 2005
Prime Minister of Abkhazia
April 29, 1997
birth_date=Birth date and age|1949|3|4|mf=y
Sukhumi, Abkhazian ASSR, Georgian SSR, USSR
Sergei Wasyl-ipa Bagapsh (Abkhaz: IPA|"Сергеи Уасыл-иҧа Багаҧшь") (born
March 4, 1949, Sukhumi) is the President of the partially recognized " de facto" independent Republic of Abkhazia, which is recognized by most countries as " de jure" part of Georgia. A former Prime Minister from 1997 to 1999, he was elected as President in 2005.
=Early life and career [cite news|url=http://www.caucaz.com/home/breve_contenu.php?id=147|title=Sergueï Bagapsh|publisher=Caucaz.com|date=January 11, 2005|accessdate=2008-06-30] =
Sergei Bagapsh was born March 4 1949 in Sukhumi. Throughout most of his life he has lived in Abkhazia. Bagapsh graduated from the
Georgian State University of Subtropical Agriculturein Sukhumi. During his studies he worked first in a wine cooperative and later as a security guard for the state bank. In 1972 he fulfilled his military service as the head of a sovkhozfollowing which he became instructor with the Abkhazian regional committee of the Komsomol. In 1978 Bagapsh became responsible for information in the central committee of the Komsomol's Georgian branch and in 1980 first secretary of the Abkhazian regional committee. In 1982 Sergei Bagapsh became secretary general of the communist party in the Ochamchira district.After the fall of communism, Bagapsh became a businessman and the representative of the Abkhazian government in Moscow.
Sergei Bagapsh was appointed
Prime Minister of Abkhaziaon April 29th of 1997.
The Georgian-Abkhaz tensions during Bagapsh's time in office came to a height in May, 1998, when the Tbilisi-based government-in-exile deployed forces along the Abkhaz-Georgian border.cite web |url=http://www.cpirs.org.ge/Archive/AS_05_98.pdf |title=The Army and Society in Georgia |accessdate=2008-08-20 |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1998 |month=May |publisher=The Center for Civil-Military Relations and Security Studies; the Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development|format=PDF] In the resulting conflict, which was colloquially named the "Six Day War", 30,000 Georgian refugees fled across the border to the town of
Zugdidi. 1,695 Georgian houses were also burned down.
2004 presidential election
Sergei Bagapsh was Minister of Energy when he began to emerge as a likely opposition candidate in the leadup to the 2004 presidential election. In early 2004, he became of three leaders of the newly founded opposition movement
United Abkhazia. [cite news|url=http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=161049&apc_state=henicrs2004|title=Abkhazia's Leadership Struggle|publisher=Institute for War & Peace Reporting|date=April 4, 2004|accessdate=2008-06-30] After on July 20, 2004, United Abkhaziajoined forces with Amtsakhara, another important opposition force, the two named him as their joint candidate for the October presidential elections, beating out other hopefuls, such as former foreign minister Sergey Shamba. In the elections, Bagapsh and his main opponent, Raul Khadjimba, disputed the results. The Abkhaz Electoral Commission originally declared Khadjimba to be the winner, with Bagapsh a distant second, but the Supreme Court later found that Bagapsh had won with 50.3% of the vote. The court reversed its decision after Khadjimba's supporters stormed the court building. At one point, Bagapsh and his supporters threatened to hold their own inauguration on December 6, 2004. However, in early December, Bagapsh and Khadjimba reached an agreement to run together on a national unity ticket. New elections were held on January 12, 2005, with this ticket easily winning. Under the agreement, Bagapsh ran for president and Khadjimba ran for vice-president.
* [http://www.abkhaziagov.org/en/ President of the Republic of Abkhazia. Official site]
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