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Vote Results Delayed in Georgia's Abkhazia Republic - 2004-10-04

Officials in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia have delayed announcing the results from Sunday's presidential election.

Central Election Commission chief Sergei Smyr said Monday that a slowdown in the delivery of ballots from some districts would hold up a scheduled announcement of the official results.

Mr. Smyr said results posted Sunday on a web site that purported to be the commission's official site were fraudulent.

Before the vote, Prime Minister Raul Khadjimba was considered the leading contender among five candidates. Abkhaz power company chief Sergei Bagapsh was thought to be his most serious opponent.

Mr. Smyr said Mr. Bagapsh and another candidate have alleged voting irregularities that may have to be investigated.

Abkhazia declared itself independent of Georgia in 1993 and has since been led by President Vladislav Ardzinba. Authorities in Tbilisi say the election lacks legitimacy.