Sergei Shamba

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Sergei Shamba
Сергеи Шамба
Shamba (left) and Peter Semneby
Prime Minister of Abkhazia
In office
13 February 2010 – 27 September 2011
President Sergei Bagapsh
Alexander Ankvab
Preceded by Alexander Ankvab
Succeeded by Leonid Lakerbaia
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
15 December 2004 – 26 February 2010
Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab
Preceded by Igor Akhba
Succeeded by Maxim Gvinjia
In office
7 May 1997 – 14 June 2004
Prime Minister Sergei Bagapsh
Viacheslav Tsugba
Anri Jergenia
Gennady Gagulia
Raul Khadjimba
Preceded by Konstantin Ozgan
Succeeded by Gueorgui Otyrba (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1951-03-15) 15 March 1951 (age 63)
Gudauta, Soviet Union
Political party Social-Democratic Party

Sergei Shamba (Abkhaz: Сергеи Шамба, Georgian: სერგეი შამბა) is a former Prime Minister of Abkhazia, from 13 February 2010 until 27 September 2011. Before becoming Prime Minister, Shamba had been the long-time Minister for Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia - from 7 May 1997, with a half-year interruption in 2004, both under President Vladislav Ardzinba and his successor Sergei Bagapsh.

Early life and career[edit]

Sergei Shamba was born on 15 March 1951 in Gudauta.[1] He entered politics at the age of 24[citation needed]. Until February 1992, Shamba was the head of Aidgylara, which played a leading role in Abkhazia's struggle for independence. During the 1992-1993 War in Abkhazia, he served as First Deputy Minister of Defence.[1]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (first time)[edit]

On 7 May 1997, Shamba became Minister for Foreign Affairs, succeeding Konstantin Ozgan.[2] Throughout his time as foreign minister, it often fell to Shamba to defend Abkhazia's separation from Georgia in the international media. He has been a strong supporter of Abkhazian independence, and has flatly opposed any attempts at reunification with Georgia. Though he has headed several Abkhaz delegations to United Nations-sponsored talks with Georgia, Abkhazia has failed to receive any international recognition.

As foreign minister, Shamba dealt with several leaders of non-government organizations, meeting, among others, International Red Crescent Organization president Jean Michel Corbot. He succeeded in gaining USAID assistance for several reconstruction projects in Sukhumi.

In 1998, Shamba received his Doctorate from the Yerevan Institute of Archeology. On 9 July 2001, Shamba was awarded the diplomatic rank of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador.[1]

Shamba resigned from the post of foreign minister on June 14, 2004, citing a number of reasons, such as the murder, five days before, of fellow opposition leader Garri Aiba and the upcoming presidential elections. After his resignation, he openly called for the entire government to stand aside.

October 2004 Presidential election[edit]

Shamba was one of the favorites to receive the nomination of the newly forged Amtsakhara-United Abkhazia opposition alliance for the October 2004 presidential elections. However, on July 20, 2004, the movements named former prime minister Sergei Bagapsh and Stanislav Lakoba as their respective Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. Shamba still participated in the election with Vladimir Arshba as his running mate and he came in third place with 6.9% of the vote. After the election a conflict broke between front runners Sergei Bagapsh and Raul Khajimba, which was only resolved when the two teams agreed to hold new elections in which they would participate on a joint ticket.

During the crisis on 15 October Shamba had founded the Social-Democratic Party of Abkhazia along with other people from his election campaign, chief of staff Gennadi Alamia became its first chairman.[3] The Social-Democratic Party called on voters to boycott the new elections and Shamba did not participate in it.[4]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (second time)[edit]

On 15 December 2004 Shamba had again been appointed Minister for Foreign affairs by Ardzinba, replacing Igor Akhba.[5] The power-sharing agreement between Bagapsh and Khajimba stipulated that the latter could appoint the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Khajimba chose to keep Sergei Shamba, despite the fact that Bagapsh long insisted on appointing Natella Akaba. Even though Shamba had now joined the government, the social-democratic party stayed in opposition.

On 20 May 2009 the Social-Democratic Party was one of a number of opposition parties that during a press conference strongly criticised the government's foreign policy.[6] The criticism was rejected by Shamba two days later, dismissing it as "biased".[7]

Despite being considered by some to again be a possible candidate,[8] Shamba did not participate in the December 2009 presidential election. The election resulted in a second term for Sergei Bagapsh, and on 13 February 2010, Shamba was appointed Prime Minister,[9] succeeding Alexander Ankvab who had become Vice President.[1][10] On 26 February Shamba was succeeded as Foreign Minister by his deputy Maxim Gvinjia.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Выпуск №69-70" (in Russian). Apsnypress. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Предыдущие Министры и их Заместители". 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2009. 
  3. ^ Kuchuberia, Angela (2004-10-16). "В Сухуме состоялся учредительный форум социал-демократической партии Абхазии" (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  4. ^ Kuchuberia, Angela (2005-01-12). "В Абхазии начались повторные президентские выборы" (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  5. ^ "В Абхазии назначены два вице-премьера правительства". Кавказский узел. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  6. ^ Fuller, Liz (2009-05-24). "Abkhaz Leadership, Opposition Exchange Accusations". Caucasus Report (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty). Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  7. ^ "Министр иностранных дел Сергей Шамба назвал обвинения, прозвучавшие в заявлениях "некоторых политических сил", "мягко говоря, необъективными"" (in Russian). Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  8. ^ Fuller, Liz (2009-04-14). "Abkhaz Leadership Assesses Time Frame For International Recognition". Caucasus Report (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty). Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  9. ^ "Abkhazia's President Sergey Bagapsh signed decree appointing Sergey Shamba Prime Minister of the Republic of Abkhazia". Official Site Sergey Bagapsh President of the Republic of Abkhazia. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ex-Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab expressed gratitude to government, the Cabinet's office for honest work". Official Site Sergey Bagapsh President of the Republic of Abkhazia. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "President Sergey Bagapsh issued decrees appointing Ministers". Official Site Sergey Bagapsh President of the Republic of Abkhazia. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "New Abkhaz FM Appointed". Civil Georgia. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Konstantin Ozgan
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1997–2004
Succeeded by
Gueorgui Otyrba
Acting
Preceded by
Igor Akhba
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Maxim Gvinjia
Preceded by
Alexander Ankvab
Prime Minister of Abkhazia
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Leonid Lakerbaia