Alexander Ankvab reportedly retreated to his home town Gudauta, 40km (25 miles) away, when talks with the opposition broke down.
Many people in the Russian-backed region are unhappy with the ailing economy and lack of reforms.
But Abkhazian nationalist feeling is also fuelling the unrest. (...)
Opinion among the opposition is said to be divided between those who want Abkhazia to rely less on Russia and those who instead want it to become part of Russia.
Analysis - Unrest in Abkhazia:
However, even this is only a part of the story. The opposition has certainly cited economic conditions as a major grievance, but the chief point of contention is President Alexander Ankvab's more liberal (relatively speaking) policy towards ethnic Georgians in Abkhazia, primarily concentrated in the Gali region. Mr Ankvab has advocated more fully integrating them into Abkhazian society, which includes giving them passports and Abkhazian "citizenship". The opposition, led by Raul Khadzhimba, has painted this as a purely political ploy by Mr Ankvab to expand his electoral base (they accused the late former President, Sergei Bagapsh, of the same) and say these policies could endanger Abkhazia's ethnic Abkhazian identity.
Mr Khadzhimba has also accused the Ankvab government of kowtowing to Moscow. Though there is a political consensus in favour of a security alliance with Russia, Mr Khadzhimba's opposition does not wish to allow Russians to buy Abkhazian property or to see Sukhumi integrate too closely within Russia. It is unclear just how much of a believer Mr Khadzhimba is - he is a former KGB officer and was once seen as Moscow's favoured politician. His political transformation suggests that his ideals are rather pliable, but he also may feel spurned by his former patrons. All we really know is that Mr Khadzhimba truly believes he should be in power. As for Mr Ankvab, his political longevity depends largely on Russia. If they see abandoning him as politically expedient, he will face a much more difficult time regaining power.
O presidente abkhaz estar a ser criticado por ser, pelos vistos, demasiado alinhado com a Rússia e ao mesmo tempo por estar a dar muitos direitos aos georgianos pode confundir um bocado as "narrativas" sobre os conflitos no Cáucaso...