TBILISI, DFWatch – In Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia people are waiting for the results of the second tour of the de facto presidential elections. Early results indicate that opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva is heading for victory.
According to Bela Plieva, chairman of Tskhinvali’s de facto Central Election Commission (CEC), elections have been completed and final results of the vote count will be ready in five days.
Before the elections Russian media were predicting that Anatoli Bibilov would win at the expense of Alla Dzhioyeva, the former Education Minister and opposition leader, who received slightly fewer votes than Bibilov in the first round on November 13.
Eleven candidates participated in the first round. 17 had originally registered as candidates, but six of them withdrew their candidacy before the elections. Finally, Anatoli Bibilov ended up almost in a tie with Dzhioyeva, but a fraction of a percent ahead with 25.44% against Dzhioyeva’s 25.37 %.
Anatoly Bibilov was called a Kremlin favorite by Russian press from the start. According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Bibilov’s candidacy was supported by the Russian regional ministry and the law enforcement agencies. According to the same paper, there was an agreement among Russian governmental agencies about supporting Bibilov.
Anatoli Bibilov was born in Tskhinvali in 1970. He graduated from Riazani High Airborne Command School in 1992. There he participated in #76 landing division battalion carrying out peace operations in South Ossetia. He was Chief of special forces at the Defence Ministry of South Ossetia in 1994-96. 1996-98 he was ivolved in business activities in Kiev and then served in the North Ossetian peace battalion in the Georgia-Ossetia conflict region from 1998 to 2000. Bibilov holds the title of Major General. He has been Emergency Situation Minister of South Ossetia since November 2008.
Anatoli Babilov himself does not try to hide the fact that he is the Kremlin favorite.
“Russia expressed its position on the arrival of Sergei Shoigu, Constantine Kosachov and Franc Klincebish, also with a meeting with Sergei Narishkin and me. Why cannot I like that Moscow supports me? They have a right to have interests in South Ossetia. These people arrived here in the name of ‘United Russia’ and I was presented by the Unity Party. There is an agreement between United Russia and Unity – they will support it’s almost member of the party,” he said in an interview with gazeta.ru before the elections.
There is an expectation that he will be the conductor of the Kremlin’s interests and when he reached the run-off it is not a surprise for Russian media.
But the local media in Tskhinvali writes that for the population it’s not significant being the Kremlin favorite, because in the recent times integration with Russia has become a very acute problem in Tskhinvali region, and is a source of discontent among the local population.
This may be the reason why the population seems to be supporting opposition candidates. Dzambulat Tedeev was very popular among people before the elections, but wasn’t allowed to register his candidacy. According to Russian media, this was because he was too much opposed to the current de facto president Kokooity. When he lost the chance to run himself, he called for people to vote for Dzhioyeva instad.
According to Russian media, Dzhioyeva’s strong standing – leading for a while in the first round and transfer to the second round – is due to Tedeev’s support.
Several days before the second tour Bela Plieva, CEC chairman and four members of the commission were threatened. Russian media writes that they ‘had been advised’ to make ‘the right decision’ regarding the results of the second round of elections. Plieva tells that the one calling didn’t specify what ‘the right decision’ meant.
An opposition webpage in Tskhinvali claims that supporters of Alla Dzhioyeva had been waiting for a deteriorating situation by the end of the day.
According to supporters of Dzhioyeva, de facto law enforcement will get in combat readiness by 20:00 today Monday. The background for such a decision is that unrest is being expected, following the announcement of Anatoly Bibilov as the winner of the second round by the CEC.
Data from Alla Dzhioyeva’s staff indicates that their candidate is leading; but the commission agreed with the de-facto government and is planning to announce Bibilov as a winner.
“They are expecting that Alla Dzhioyeva’s staff members will not recognize the results as right. South Ossetia’s population will also express concern,” Dzhioyeva supporters claim.
They accuse law enforcements of preparing a provocation. According to Dzhioyeva’s supporters, in front of the de-facto CEC there are already policemen dressed in the civil clothes and they’re preparing a provocation in the name of Dzhioyeva supporters. At Dzhioyeva’s headquarters it is being said that they have suggested to their supporters not to go to the central square in order to avoid a confrontation.
Due to their decision, a ten-member group will be set up, which will be working on how to avoid civil strife.
According to the news agency RES, South Ossetia’s de facto security committee has warned of possible provocations, because according to the de facto committee operative information, Alla Dzhioyeva supporters are not going to wait for the results of the second round of the so-called presidential elections and they plan to take their supporters into the streets.
“The security committee impose the responsibility of the managers a political force, which doesn’t want the stability in [the so-called] South Ossetia.” – The news agency writes.
There is still no indications of tension in the Tskhinvali region. According to Bela Plieva, de-facto CEC chairman, the first results of the vote-count will be known today. Final results will be published in 5 days.
Georgia’s breakaway regions are no strangers to post-election trouble. After Sergei Bagapsh won Abkhazia’s presidential election in 2005 against Moscow favorite Raul Khadjimba, Russia sealed the border in the midst of the harvest season, severly impacting local business, which relies on export of nuts and fruits to Russia. However, the result was respected in the end, though by Khadjimba and Bagapsh running on a joint ticket in a new election.