South Ossetia electing its president
Today, 9 April, the presidential elections and referendum on the renaming of the republic to “the State of South Ossetia-Alania” are being held simultaneously in South Ossetia.
Georgia, considering South Ossetia an occupied part of its territory, regards both the presidential elections and the referendum as illegitimate actions that do not have legal consequences.
There are three candidates for the presidency of South Ossetia:
- The incumbent president, Leonid Tibilov
- Chairman of the Parliament Anatoly Bibilov
- A local KGB officer Alan Gagloev
The latter two predominantly base their election campaign on criticism of the current government which they call ineffective and dependent solely on Russian subsidies.
The slogan of the incumbent president Tibilov is “Stability and Development.”
Shortly before the election, President Tibilov was received by the Russian president, who determines more than 90 percent of the budget of South Ossetia with the allotment of subsidies.
However, all three candidates share the idea of South Ossetia joining Russia and its renaming, based on the results of the referendum on “the State of South Ossetia-Alania”.
A total of 77 polling stations will be opened on the territory of the republic, 5 of them on the territory of Russia.
According to the CEC, 32 736 voters are registered in the republic, with the final lists of voters not finalized yet.
The turnout threshold is 50 percent plus one vote. In order to win, the candidate must collect more than 50 percent of the votes.
Opponents of the current government are mostly concerned about falsifications on the three polling stations located on the territory of North Ossetia.
Protest rally in Vladikavkaz, April 7
Typical comments in the Ossetian segment of the FB in the run-up to the elections:
“If you want Ossetian Kadyrov – vote for Bibilov!”
“Providing jobs to people would eliminate “tensions” during the election.”
“Don’t quarrel, gentlemen ! This is not the last president we’re electing… Just take it easy.”
“Just an independent, sovereign South Ossetia with its own army and no integration into any other state!!!”
Georgia has been insisting on South Ossetia being part of the country since the Georgian-Ossetian conflict of the 1990s, and calls both the elections and the referendum in South Ossetia “illegitimate and in violation of all international regulations.”
The Georgian Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze said: “These rallies cannot have any legal consequences; they will not be accepted by the international community, and Georgian authorities will do their best to provide an appropriate reaction on their part.”
Representative of the opposition faction “European Georgia”, Sergi Kapanadze, calls the elections and referendum in South Ossetia “Russia’s activity in the occupied territory.” According to him, “all this has a dual purpose – to influence the Caucasus region and use the situation as a lever in relations with the West.”