Sergei Shamba

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Sergei Shamba
Сергеи Шамба
Chairman of United Abkhazia
Assumed office
27 January 2016
Preceded byAleksei Tania (Acting)
Daur Tarba
Prime Minister of Abkhazia
In office
13 February 2010 – 27 September 2011
PresidentSergei Bagapsh
Alexander Ankvab (Acting)
Preceded byAlexander Ankvab
Succeeded byLeonid Lakerbaia
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia
In office
15 December 2004 – 26 February 2010
Prime MinisterAlexander Ankvab
Preceded byIgor Akhba
Succeeded byMaxim Gvinjia
In office
7 May 1997 – 14 June 2004
Prime MinisterSergei Bagapsh
Viacheslav Tsugba
Anri Jergenia
Gennady Gagulia
Raul Khajimba
Preceded byKonstantin Ozgan
Succeeded byGueorgui Otyrba (Acting)
Igor Akhba
2nd Chairman of Aidgylara
In office
3 February 1990 – February 1992
Preceded byAlexey Gogua
Succeeded byRauf Ebzhnou (acting)
Personal details
Born (1951-03-15) 15 March 1951 (age 68)
Gudauta, Soviet Union
Political partyUnited Abkhazia (2004)
Social-Democratic Party (2004–2005)
United Abkhazia (2016–present)

Sergei Shamba (Abkhazian: Сергеи Шамба, Georgian: სერგეი შამბა) is a senior politician from Abkhazia. He is currently a member of the People's Assembly of Abkhazia and Chairman of United Abkhazia. He was Prime Minister of Abkhazia under President Sergei Bagapsh from 13 February 2010 until 27 September 2011. Between 1997 and 2010 he had been Minister for Foreign Affairs under both Bagapsh and his predecessor Vladislav Ardzinba, with only a half-year interruption in 2004. Shamba has twice unsuccessfully participated in Presidential elections, in 2004 and 2011. He has been a staunch proponent for dialogue between Abkhazia and Georgia.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Sergei Shamba was born on 15 March 1951 in Gudauta.[2] 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.[2]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (first time)[edit]

On 7 May 1997, Shamba became Minister for Foreign Affairs, succeeding Konstantin Ozgan.[3] 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.[2]

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.[4] The Social-Democratic Party called on voters to boycott the new elections and Shamba did not participate in it.[5]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (second time) and Prime Minister[edit]

On 15 December 2004 Shamba had again been appointed Minister for Foreign affairs by Ardzinba, replacing Igor Akhba.[6] 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.[7] The criticism was rejected by Shamba two days later, dismissing it as "biased".[8]

Despite being considered by some to again be a possible candidate,[9] 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,[10] succeeding Alexander Ankvab, who had become vice president.[2][11] On 26 February Shamba was succeeded as Foreign Minister by his deputy Maxim Gvinjia.[12][13]

August 2011 presidential election and retirement from active politics[edit]

The next presidential election was originally scheduled to take place in 2014, however, the Constitution of Abkhazia required an election to be held within three months after the unexpected death of incumbent president Sergei Bagapsh on 29 May 2011. Only three candidates participated: Shamba, outgoing Vice President and Acting President Alexander Ankvab and opposition leader Raul Khajimba. Shamba's vice presidential candidate was deputy chairman of the State Committee for Youth Affairs and Sport Shamil Adzynba. The pair was nominated by an initiative group on 8 July and applied for registration on 16 July.[14][15] All presidential candidates passed their Abkhaz language test on 20 July 2011, were formally registered by the Central Election Commission on 25 July and received their certificates on 26 July.[16][17]

Shamba and Adzynba received political support from the Party for Economic Development on 21 July, 10 (out of 12) members of the Association of Youth Organisations on 28 July and the Communist Party 9 August.[18][19][20] The election campaign was led by Beslan Eshba.[21]

The election was won by Alexander Ankvab. Shamba came in second place with 21.02% of the vote, narrowly ahead of Khajimba.[22]

After the election, Shamba retired from active politics. Observers noted that Shamba would have been above the legal maximum age for the Presidency at the time of the next election. Shamba himself has stated that he wanted to make way for younger politicians, hoping that Abkhazia had entered a new phase of sustained development and conflict-free transfers of power.[23]

Member of Parliament (second time) and Chairman of United Abkhazia[edit]

Shamba was one of the leaders of the protests that led to the May 2014 ouster of President Ankvab. After the election of Raul Khajimba as president, he participated in the 21 December by-election in Constituency no. 24 that had become necessary after Khajimba had appointed Adgur Kharazia as acting mayor of Sukhumi.[24][25] On 3 November, Shamba's nomination by an initiative group was registered.[26] Shamba failed to obtain a first-round victory, but defeated Tengiz Agrba in the run-off on 28 December.[27][28]

On 5 September 2015, Shamba became the leader of a faction he established along with six other members of the People's Assembly.[29][30]

On 27 January 2016, Shamba was elected Chairman of United Abkhazia during its sixth congress, after Daur Tarba had resigned the role on 1 October 2015.[31][32]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Выпуск №69-70 (in Russian). Apsnypress. 13 February 2010. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Предыдущие Министры и их Заместители". 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  4. ^ Kuchuberia, Angela (2004-10-16). В Сухуме состоялся учредительный форум социал-демократической партии Абхазии (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  5. ^ Kuchuberia, Angela (2005-01-12). В Абхазии начались повторные президентские выборы (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  6. ^ "В Абхазии назначены два вице-премьера правительства". Кавказский узел. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  7. ^ Fuller, Liz (2009-05-24). "Abkhaz Leadership, Opposition Exchange Accusations". Caucasus Report. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  8. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  9. ^ Fuller, Liz (2009-04-14). "Abkhaz Leadership Assesses Time Frame For International Recognition". Caucasus Report. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  10. ^ "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. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  11. ^ "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. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  12. ^ "President Sergey Bagapsh issued decrees appointing Ministers". Official Site Sergey Bagapsh President of the Republic of Abkhazia. 26 February 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  13. ^ "New Abkhaz FM Appointed". Civil Georgia. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
  14. ^ "ЦИК зарегистрировал инициативную группу по выдвижению Сергея Шамба кандидатом в президенты Абхазии". Apsnypress. 8 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  15. ^ "Сергей Шамба и Шамиль Адзынба подали заявление в Центральную избирательную комиссию о согласии баллотироваться на пост президента и вице-президента Республики Абхазия". Apsnypress. 16 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Александр Анкваб, Рауль Хаджимба и Сергей Шамба сдали экзамен на знание Государственного абхазского языка". Apsnypress. 20 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Центральная избирательная комиссия зарегистрировала кандидатами в президенты Александра Анкваба, Рауля Хаджимба и Сергея Шамба". Apsnypress. 25 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  18. ^ "Партия Экономического развития Абхазии поддержала кандидатуру Сергея Шамба на пост президента республики". Apsnypress. 21 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  19. ^ "10 из 12 организаций, входящих в Ассоциацию молодежных организаций Абхазии, заявили о поддержке кандидата в президенты Сергея Шамба". Apsnypress. 28 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  20. ^ "Политсовет компартии Абхазии поддержал кандидатуру Сергея Шамба". Apsnypress. 9 August 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  21. ^ Sharia, Vitali (18 August 2015). ""Родина" и "Народный фронт" по-абхазски". Echo of the Caucasus. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Final results of the presidential elections in Abkhazia". Abkhazian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 27 August 2011. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  23. ^ Sharia, Vitali (27 January 2016). "Сергей Шамба – во главе "Единой Абхазии"". Echo of the Caucasus. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Адгур Харазия назначен исполняющим обязанности главы администрации г. Сухум". Apsnypress. 22 October 2014. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  25. ^ "21 декабря пройдут повторные выборы в Народное Собрание - Парламент РА по 24 и 11 округам". Apsnypress. 31 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  26. ^ "ЦИК зарегистрировал инициативную группу по выдвижению Шамба Сергея Мироновича кандидатом в депутаты Народного Собрания - Парламента РА по 24 избирательному округу". Apsnypress. 3 November 2014. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  27. ^ "В двух округах выборы в Парламент признаны состоявшимися. По Драндскому округу назначены повторные выборы". Apsnypress. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  28. ^ "Сергей Шамба – депутат Народного Собрания – Парламента Республики Абхазия". Apsnypress. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  29. ^ Besedoval, Dmitri (24 September 2015). ""Фактически провластные и оппозиционные группы в парламенте уже сложились"". Sukhum-Moscow. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  30. ^ "ПО ИНИЦИАТИВЕ ДЕПУТАТА СЕРГЕЯ ШАМБА В ПАРЛАМЕНТЕ СОЗДАНА НОВАЯ ДЕПУТАТСКАЯ ГРУППА". Abkhazia Inform. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  31. ^ "СЕРГЕЙ ШАМБА ИЗБРАН ПРЕДСЕДАТЕЛЕМ ПАРТИИ "ЕДИНАЯ АБХАЗИЯ"". Abkhazia Inform. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  32. ^ "Даур Тарба сложил с себя полномочия председателя РПП "Единая Абхазия"". Apsnypress. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Konstantin Ozgan
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Gueorgui Otyrba
Preceded by
Igor Akhba
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Maxim Gvinjia
Preceded by
Alexander Ankvab
Prime Minister of Abkhazia
Succeeded by
Leonid Lakerbaia