Abkhazian parliamentary election, 1996

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Parliamentary elections were held in the underrecognized Republic of Abkhazia on 24 November 1996. 30 of the 35 seats were filled in the election with the other five being filled in run-off elections two weeks later. At the same time refugees in Georgia held a referendum to declare that elections in Abkhazia were invalid.


The election was held in order to replace the former Abkhaz Autonomous Republic's Supreme Soviet which had split during the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict in 1993 with 28 deputies continuing in Abkhazia as the Abkhaz Supreme Soviet. The remaining 24 formed a parliament in exile in Georgia.[1]

In order to be elected a candidate had to obtain over 50% of the vote. Voters received a list of candidates and crossed off all the names but that of the candidate they preferred.[2]

The electoral commission of Abkhazia reported that there was an 81% turnout among the electorate. 19 Abkhaz, 4 Russians, 3 Armenians, 2 Georgians, 1 Greek and 1 Kabardin were elected.[2]

In advance of the election international organisations and major countries declared that the election was invalid.[1]


In response to the election Georgia organised a referendum among refugees from Abkhazia. The Georgian government of Eduard Shevardnadze said that over 99% of refugees agreed that elections in Abkhazia were invalid until refugees were allowed to return and its political status as part of Georgia was agreed.[1][2]