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A referendum on the New Union Treaty was held in the Abkhaz ASSR on 17 March 1991, as part of the wider Soviet referendum. The treaty was approved by 98.6% of voters.


The treaty would have reorganised the Soviet Union into a less centralised state. However, it was largely boycotted by the Georgian population in Abkhazia, whilst in the Georgian SSR no referendum was held.


Choice Votes %
For 164,231 99.06
Against 1,566 0.94
Invalid/blank votes 747
Total 166,544 100
Registered voters/turnout 318,317 52.32
Source: RRC


The Union Treaty was approved in the republics where referendums were held, but its coming into effect was prevented by the August 1991 coup attempt and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December.

The fact that voters in Abkhazia approved the new union treaty while the Georgian SSR declared its independence on 9 April has been used by Abkhazia as an argument that Georgia became de jure independent from the Soviet Union without Abkhazia, which was then free to choose its own future.[1]


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