TBILISI, DFWatch – As one month is left until the de facto republic South Ossetia is to hold another presidential election, 21 candidates have registered their initiative group with the Central Election Commission.
But the most popular candidate in a cancelled election three months ago is not on the list. Opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva refuses to take part, calls the whole election illegitimate and demands that she is recognized as the rightful president elect, because she won the election in November, which was cancelled.
As the deadline is passed for registering, two candidates have withdrawn. Initial registration ended on February 19. Now each candidate needs to be checked on authenticity and pass exams in the official languages — Ossetian and Russian — as well as submit income declarations and tax payments.
Seven candidates have passed the language exam, Ria Novosti reports. Member of the Linguistic Commission of the Central Election Commission of the Republic, Gatsyr Pliev, says sixteen candidates took the exam on February 20 and 21.
The final list will be announced on February 29.
Among the candidates are Moris Sanakoyev, former chairman of the Committee on Transport; Dimitry Medoyev, ambassador of South Ossetia to Russia; leader of the communist party Stanislav Kochiev, former presidential representative in parliament Tarzan Kokoity, and Human Rights Commissioner David Sanakoyev.
The opposition website Ossetia.Kvaisa.ru reports that three candidates are now considered as ‘puppets of Moscow’ – Dimitry Medoyev, David Sanakoyev and former head of the State Security Committee, Leonid Tibilov.
When it comes to Alla Dzhioyeva, she was attacked in her headquarters the evening February 9, the day before she had planned an unsanctioned inauguration, and forced out of her office and into a car, when something happened which led to her being taken to hospital. Authorities claimed she had suffered a heart attack, but Dzhioyeva denies this, and says she had been maltreated.
She later stated that she has reconsider whether stay in politics or not and that she might even ask for political asylum in some country if necessary.
A few days ago Dzhioyeva finally made it clear in an interview with Ekho Kavkaza that she cannot run away from the mass of people who support her, and will continue to fight to be recognized as South Ossetia’s legitimate president elect. She considers the March 25 election illegitimate.
“So today I am standing on the old position, that in spite of all obstacles I will keep going to the goal I set before myself before,’ Dzhioyeva tells. ‘Once again, I acknowledge that we live in a state where rights, laws and liberties are violated by those who should be defending them.”
A couple of days ago Ossetia.Kvaisa.ru published three appeals by Alla Dzhioyeva to chief doctor Kokoyev, brother of the prosecutor general Eldar Kokoyev, for him to issue the official findings of the forensic medical examination regarding her attack.
The unofficial findings have already been published online.
The stalemate therefore seems to be continuing. It started in November, when opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva and Kremlin favorite Anatoly Bibilov ran against eachother.
Dzhioyeva was on her way to victory; but the Supreme Court annulled the results after receiving a complaint, announced it invalid and rescheduled a new election for March 25.
Supporters of Dzhioyeva reacted by starting a protest to demand that she be recognized as rightful winner. There were several episodes of violence and shooting which threatened the stability of the region, which lead both sides to try to negotiate to find a compromise.
December 10 de facto leader Eduard Kokoity announced that he would step down ahead of his term’s end as part of a compromise, and Dzhioyeva accepted after some hesitation.
But later she withdrew her signature from the agreement, claiming that the agreement hadn’t been fully lived up to by authorities, and after an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate with the acting president Vadim Brovtsev, who had taken over when Kokoity left, she scheduled her day of inauguration for February 10, refusing to take part in the elections on March 25.
Anatoly Bibilov on his part also refused to take part in the elections, saying that this will create a possibility of conducting free and transparent elections by giving the voters a chance to choose among new candidates.