TBILISI, DFWatch – The dreaded specter of new unrest in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia has not abated, as the Supreme Court cancels the presidential elections as fraudulent and the authorities announce new elections in Spring.
According to the news agency RIA Novosti, Amiran Diakonov, chairman of the de facto legislative committee, said that the de facto parliament of South Ossetia has already set a date for new so-called presidential elections for March 25, 2012.
The court made the decision as a result of an appeal by the Edinstvo party of supposed Kremlin favorite Anatoly Bibilov.
The official results of Sunday’s second round have not yet been published, but according to preliminary results, Alla Dzhioyeva won the elections decisively; despite the fact that her opponent Anatoly Bibilov was considered the Kremlin favorite.
According to the last report published by the so-called Central Election Commission (CEC), Dzhioyeva got 16% more votes than Bibilov.
Anatoly Bibilov is seen as a conductor of the Kremlin’s interests, which according to local media is more of a problem than a boon, because there has been increasing discontent with the Tskhinvali region’s integration with Russia.
This may be why there seems to have been massive support for opposition candidates. Earlier on, Dzambulat Tedeev was doing well, and as portrayed by Russian media, made a clear stand against current de facto president Eduard Kokoity. He was however prevented from registering for for the elections, and called for people to vote for Alla Dzhioyeva instead. Ala Dzhioyeva is former Education Minister in the South Ossetia de-facto government and the only woman in the race.
According to Russian media, her leading in the first tour and transfer to the second round was helped by the support of Tedeev.
After the second round it looks like she now has the full support of the local population and is seen as a force of opposition to Kokoity. If she wins it will be considered victory for the opposition.
Russian media have been speculating about what problems the South Ossetia situation may create for Moscow.
One of the so-called officials of the local administration said during an interview with the newspaper Kommersant that the government is scared of Dzhioyeva winning and Eduard Kokoity is on top of this.
“It can make the situation even more difficult in the Republic. It’s not about Dzhioyeva but the people behind her. Dzambulat Tedeev hates our president. And if this person gets into government, we will witness a reckoning among the clans. We don’t need this. We should build houses and not spill blood,” the so-called official from Kokoity’s government says.
Dzambulat and Ibrahim Tedeev brought Eduard Kokoity into power in 2001, but they were later thrown out of government. In 2008 Ibrahim Tedeev was killed in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia.
The Russian daily Nezavisimaia Gazeta writes in a more strict tone: “Only one thing is clear: the Moscow scenario in the republic, which owns Russia in many ways – wasn’t borne out. The country is having pretensions of being a super-country, wasn’t able to, and couldn’t legally grant the presidential chair to its chosen one, even after the second try. “
Alan Parastaev, legal expert in South Ossetia, claimed before the supreme court’s decision that ‘there is a struggle in South Ossetia in an unacceptable way.’
“Judge Bichenov acts dishonorably, and his activities are absolutely out of line of the lawyer’s or the supreme judge’s activity. He clearly indicated that he will make decide on the elections, but the international observers have already stated that there were no violations during the elections. Despite this fact, the Supreme Court still accepted the appeal of [Bibilov’s party] Edinstva, and now is going to make a verdict about how serious the violations were, in order to annul the results of the elections,” according to Alan Parastaev.
He writes that if the elections results were annulled, it would be very bad, because the Tskhinvali society is ready to protect their decision. Russian media reports that the situation may get so difficult in the Tskhinvali Region that it may come to civil turmoil.
According to the Ossetian media, there is already a rally underway organized by the supporters of so-called presidential candidate Alla Dzhioyeva at Tskhinvali’s central square.
The crowd carry flags of Russia and the so-called South Ossetia and cry ‘Victory!’ Dzhioyeva made an appeal to protesters and claimed that she will win the elections.
“We will win the elections. We will have to win on ourselves after tomorrow. I’m convinced that we all will together build the future of South Ossetia,” Dzhioyeva told the crowd.
She appealed to police from the tribune as children and grand-children. She insisted that turmoil is impossible among them.
The police have not interfered in the rally yet. But Dzhioyeva’s supporters released a statement saying that the police have been instructed to disperse the rally, but that part of them refused to carry out the order and were arrested themselves.