TBILISI, DFWatch – The situation in Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia is getting more complicated as both top candidates refuse to take part in a rescheduled election on March 25.
Kremlin favorite Anatoly Bibilov says he refrains from taking part because there is a danger of bloodshed if the election goes ahead in the current situation.
Earlier, the top candidate refused to take part and intends to hold her own inauguration on Friday, after she seemed to have won the canceled election last November.
South Ossetia’s presidential election in November was canceled after someone complained about violations. The latest results gave a clear victory to Alla Jiovea, former Education Minister and opposition leader. In the run-off she was competing with Anatoly Bibilov, Minister of the Emergency Situations and Kremlin favorite.
After the Supreme Canceled declared the election invalid, Dzhioyeva launched a protest campaign to claim victory and was supported by a crowd of demonstrators outside the government building in Tskhinvali for almost two weeks, while there were several violent episodes.
Negotiations led to a compromise agreement which involved former president Eduard Kokoity stepping down earlier than his term and three officials being dismissed. But the elected assembly blocked the deal, and Dzhioyeva January 17 withdrew her signature from the agreement, demanding that she is recognized as the new president and power transferred to her.
She has since been trying to negotiate with acting president Vadim Brovtsev, but unsuccessfully. Currently, she has scheduled her inauguration for Friday, February 10. She called for Brovtsev to transfer powers to her in a civilized way and conduct the appropriate measures for her inauguration.
One of her demands is that authorities allocate a sufficiently sizeable hall to hold her inauguration in, otherwise she will take her oath outdoors in the street.
Russian media recently quoted Dzhioyeva expressing readiness for civil war.
“Civil war is a tragedy. We don’t need it; but if you defend the law than you should be prepared for some sacrifice,” she said.
After her statement the government called for the population not to obey Dzhioyeva in carrying out acts of civil disobedience and not to go beyond the bounds of the law, as it may have the serious consequences.
Meanwhile, candidates for the upcoming rescheduled election have begun registering with the so-called Central Election Commission of South Ossetia.
But the two top candidates from last time will not take part. Anatoly Bibilov, who is Dzhioyeva’s main opponent, has said he is not going to take part, because he is against holding an election under circumstances which may lead to bloodshed.
“In order to give our citizens the opportunity to move away from confrontation and in a relaxed atmosphere make their choice, not look back,”Ria Novosty quotes Bibilov’s as saying.
He says no personal aspirations, and – especially – no ambitions are worth a single human life, explaining that the situation following November’s canceled election nearly came to bloodshed. He calls for the other participants in last year’s elections to do the same and let ‘fair and open elections’ be conducted so people can freely make their choice.
“And those who have not yet emerged from the logic of confrontation, I urge not to take various unconstitutional actions and not incite people,” he added.
Dzhioyeva is also not going to take part in the elections of March 25, but due to the other reasons – she has her inauguration planned for Friday.
Today the Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed hope that the situation in South Ossetia will not lead to bloodshed.
“It’s our territory, our citizens live there and we follow the current events taking place there with great concern and heartache,” Deputy Foreign Minister Nikoloz Vashakidze, said.
“Current events in Tskhinvali are a natural result of the vicious politics which the Russian Federation has itself conducted on this occupied Georgian territory,” he said.