Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia
The Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia is an administration recognized by Georgia as the legal and only government of Abkhazia. Abkhazia has been de facto independent of Georgia – though with very little international recognition – since the early 1990s. Ruslan Abashidze, elected in May 2019, is the current head of the government-in-exile.
Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia
აფხაზეთის ავტონომიური რესპუბლიკა
|Status||Government in exile|
• Chairman of the
Cabinet of Ministers
• Chairman of the
|Autonomous republic within Georgia|
• Georgian independence
from the Soviet Union:
April 9, 1991
December 25, 1991
|Currency||Georgian lari (GEL)|
After the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993) Georgia proposed five-party talks involving the Government of the Autonomous Republic, the government of the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, and the government of Georgia, along with Russia and the UN as interested parties, in order to settle the final status of Abkhazia within the framework of the Georgian state. The Abkhaz side wanted assurances that Georgia would not try to solve the issue by force of arms before being a party to the talks.
Between September 2006 and July 2008, the Georgian recognized government was headquartered in Upper Abkhazia. However it was forced out of all of Abkhazia in August 2008 during the Russo-Georgian war by the Abkhazian armed forces. Upper Abkhazia is a territory that has population of c. 2,000 (1-1.5% of Abkhazia's post-war population) and is centered on the upper Kodori Valley (roughly 17% of the territory of the former Abkhaz ASSR). The government-in-exile is partly responsible for the affairs of some 250,000 internally displaced persons who were forced to leave Abkhazia following the War in Abkhazia and the resulting ethnic cleansing of Georgians from the area.
During the War in Abkhazia, the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, then called the "Council of Ministers of Abkhazia", left Abkhazia after the Abkhaz separatist forces took control of the region's capital Sukhumi after heavy fighting on September 27, 1993, leading to the Sukhumi Massacre, in which several members of the Abkhazian government of that time, including its chairman Zhiuli Shartava, were executed by the rebels. The Council of Ministers relocated to Georgia's capital Tbilisi, where it operated as the Government of Abkhazia in exile for almost 13 years. During this period, the Government of Abkhazia in exile, led by Tamaz Nadareishvili, was known for a hard-line stance towards the Abkhaz problem and frequently voiced their opinion that the solution to the conflict can only be attained through Georgia's military response to secessionism. Later, Nadareishvili's administration was implicated in some internal controversies and had not taken an active part in the politics of Abkhazia until a new chairman, Irakli Alasania, was appointed by President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. Alasania was later made Saakashvili's envoy in the peace talks over Abkhazia.
Amid the 2006 Georgian police operation in Abkhazia's Kodori Gorge, in which a local militia, led by the defiant warlord Emzar Kvitsiani, had been largely disarmed, and the constitutional order restored in the area, President Saakashvili announced, on July 27, 2006, that the authorities had decided to establish the Tbilisi-based Abkhazian government-in-exile in the Kodori Gorge (Upper Abkhazia):
This decision means that for the first time since 1993 the government enters into the midst of Abkhazia, of our Abkhazia, to exercise Georgian jurisdiction and the Georgian constitutional order. This is very important fact and very fundamental political event.
During the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, the Republic of Abkhazia joined forces with the Ossetians and opened a second front against Georgia. During the Battle of the Kodori Valley Abkhazian forces loyal to the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia pushed the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia out of the region of Abkhazia. Sergei Bagapsh, President of the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia said in an address to the Abkhazian people that "the jurisdiction of the Abkhaz state has been restored in the upper Kodori Gorge."
|Chairman of Cabinet of Ministers||Ruslan Abashidze||2019|
|Chairman of the Supreme Council||Jemal Gamakharia||2019|
|Deputy of Chairman of the Supreme Council||Tamaz Khubua||2019|
|Deputy of Chairman of the Supreme Council||Davit Gvadzabia||2019|
Heads of the Government
- Tamaz Nadareishvili, September 1993 – March 16, 2004
- Londer Tsaava, March 16, 2004 – September 30, 2004
- Irakli Alasania, September 30, 2004 – April 24, 2006
- Malkhaz Akishbaia, April 24, 2006 – June 11, 2009
- Giorgi Baramia, June 11, 2009 – April 5, 2013
- Vakhtang Kolbaia (acting), April 8, 2013 – May 1, 2019
- Ruslan Abashidze (acting), May 1, 2019 – present
- The Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia on the measures of conflict settlement in Abkhazia Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Birgitte Refslund Sørensen, Marc Vincent (2001), Caught Between Borders: Response Strategies of the Internally Displaced, pp. 234-5. Pluto Press, ISBN 0-7453-1818-5.
- On Ruins of Empire: Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Former Soviet Union Georgiy I. Mirsky, p. 72.
- Tbilisi-Based Abkhaz Government Moves to Kodori, Civil Georgia, July 27, 2006. URL accessed on July 28, 2007.
- Sergei Bagapsh announces restoration of control over Kodori Gorge.