Three candidates are competing this week for the presidency in Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia recognized only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, and Vanuatu. The Central Election Commission predicts 70 percent turnout for the vote on 26 August.
Despite being the oldest candidate, Sergei Shamba, born in 1951, turned to social media in order to attract support from voters online. Shamba sent out his first tweet in Russian on 2 August.
Моя цель – Абхазия в числе экономических лидеров Причерноморья.
Sergei Shamba even has a Facebook page, but with low Internet penetration and few Internet cafes there are only 65 ‘likes’ to date. Interestingly, at time of writing, Shamba follows only Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO, on Twitter and has 31 followers.