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The parliament of Abkhazia does not regard the November 12 events in Sukhumi as a state coup
The parliament of Abkhazia, a breakaway republic of Georgia, does not regard the November 12 events in Sukhumi as a state coup. These events "cannot be viewed as a state coup," says the statement of the people's Assembly of Abkhazia adopted on Wednesday night. The document says, "the bodies of power and management [of the republic] will continue to work in the normal mode." The parliament called on the people "to maintain law and order." On November 12, several thousand supporters of presidential candidate Sergei Bagapsh seized the building in Sukhumi that houses the parliament, the cabinet of ministers and the presidential staff of the self-proclaimed republic. President Vladislav Ardzinba denounced the act as an armed state coup. Prime Minister Nodar Khashba refuted the claim of the opposition that he had asked Russia to deploy troops in the republic. On November 16, the leaders of the socio-political movements Amtsakhara, Aitaira and United Abkhazia, and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions made a statement that said, in particular, that "Khashba has called on Russia to deploy troops in Abkhazia with the purpose of restoring order." "The claim that I have called on Russia to deploy troops in Abkhazia is a barefaced lie," the Sukhumi news agency Apsny Press reported citing Prime Minister Nodar Khashba. "It is true that I support Russia's stand on Abkhazia, but I am above all a pro-Abkhazian premier who works for President Vladislav Ardzinba, rather than for Moscow." Mr. Khashba also refuted the opposition's claim that was not trying to settle the problem created by presidential elections. The premier expressed readiness to hold consultations with both candidates - Sergei Bagapsh and Raul Khadzhimba - and noted that "the government members cannot return to their offices because the building is surrounded by the armed supporters of Bagapsh." Immediately after the November 12 events, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, which says that Russia would not remain indifferent to developments in the rebellious part of Georgia if the developments took the military turn there, threatening Russian national interests. Before that the two rival candidates had come to Moscow but it appears that the most the Kremlin achieved was the peaceful pledge by Khadzhimba and Bagapsh to do their best to prevent the republic from crossing the line dividing it from a civil war
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