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Butba to supersede Bagapsh as president2009-05-19 19:25
Businessman Beslan Butba (see photo) who has made his fortune on real estate transactions in Moscow announced his intention to struggle for power in Abkhazia, leaving open the possibility of his nomination for the Presidency. At the same time, he is alluding to problems with the freedom of the press created by Sergey Bagapsh. The current head of state has been occupying the post for 4 years, his presidential powers expiring in December.
Last week, leader of the Economic Development of Abkhazia (EDA) party Beslan Butba who positions himself as opposed to the current authorities' line of policy summoned a press-conference in Sukhum. It was held under the pretext of presentation of the party national projects: "Small business with large income", "National culture is the soul of nation", "To a modern University from a new school", "A healthy nation makes up a strong Abkhazia" and "A wealthy village is a steady development". According to IA Regnum, part of these projects is currently being implemented, the others to be launched in several months. However, the Economic and Youth Projects section of the party web-site is so far empty, while the Social Projects section reckons two projects: "EDA
providing support to its members on the event of a child delivery" and "Sending schoolchildren from the Gudautski region villages to recreation spots". These steps do not seem to be much impressive, although this could be attributed to the web-site editors' failure, for the web-site was launched only last year. Butba himself has spoken about a newly-started project called "A wealthy village is a steady development" aimed at supporting the farms. It was tested in the village of Chlou, where sole proprietors are laying out the kiwi and mandarin plantations.
However, the press-conference agenda went far behind the project presentation. As it turned out, Beslan Butba started agitation for his nomination for the Presidency, the presidential election being scheduled for the next January. "Of course, each political party is striving to take power. I do not trust those coquettishly saying that they "want to participate in Olympic Games but have no intention to win", - the EDA chairman said.
Beslan Butba has much authority over the Abkhazians. Some time ago he headed the Committee for International and Parliamentary Liaisons of the Republican People's Congress. He is also chairman of the Sukhum Business Club. He earned his milliards in Moscow. As SmartMoney wrote in March 2008, he owns six retail and entertainment centers in the Russian capital. However, running his business in Moscow Beslan Butba invests the revenue into Abkhazia. He is also president of the Nart football club and is known as the sponsor of evidently unprofitable events.