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Abkhaz Presidential Rivals Join Forces in New Election


The two presidential candidates in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia say they will run on a joint ticket in new elections.

The Russian news agency reported Sunday that opposition leader Sergei Bagapsh will run as president with former Prime Minister Raul Khadzhimba as his vice president.

The surprise announcement ends a tense political standoff between the two men.

After weeks of wrangling over the October 3 election result, Mr. Bagapsh had vowed to hold his own presidential inauguration on Monday, despite Mr. Khadzhimba's refusal to concede defeat.

Russia threatened to close its borders with Abkhazia if the inauguration proceeded and demanded a new election.

The pro-Russian enclave has run its own affairs since driving out Georgian forces in the early 1990s.

Some information for this report provided by AP.