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Another Libya? South Ossetia’s Clans Clash

By Ernest Petrosyan
Tuesday, October 4
Russian news portal reports that “failed presidential candidate Dzhambolat Tedeev (head coach of the Russian free style wrestling team) in the so called South Ossetian presidential elections threatens to organize another Libya in South Ossetia.” It is also reported that there was an attempt to disrupt the meeting of the South Ossetian Central Election Commission, on which the issue of Tedeev’s registering as a presidential candidate was being considered.

Tedeev’s supporters gathered in front of the CEC and intended to break into the building. The seizure of the building, however, was stopped by the police officers. After the incident, the CEC refused to register Tedeev as presidential candidate after a secret ballot vote.

According to Tedeev, the risk of the breakup of the so-called South Ossetian people into “friends and enemies” is quite real, thus it is important to avoid bloodshed and stop conflict among people since in such a case this niche will be occupied by external enemies. He said that the Libya scenario can happen in South Ossetia. “Our task is to find the most peaceful resolution in this situation, all political forces should do everything possible to prevent a civil war,” said Tedeev.

“The unprecedented mass rallies, which began in South Ossetia in recent days suggest that we are one step away from political disaster. Statements about my culpability in the outbreak of this situation is an example of an unprecedented and irresponsible lie, since every person living in South Ossetia knows that the unjust conditions of life led people into such a state,” added Tedeev.

Tedeev also addressed a statement to the South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity. “In certain circumstances, people have a right to defend themselves, their families, their country from the threat of disintegration, not only political, but also by all available means. Considering the current political trends in the country and the world no one can exclude social upheaval, but it is only you, Mr. President, who bears all the weight of legal and historical responsibility for this development.” Tedeev also demanded “a public estimate of the destructive activities of the regime which unleashed real terror against civilians," the dismissal of the authorities, as well as the release of illegal detainees from jail.

Kokoity however, accused Tedeev of attempting to organize a “color revolution” promising to punish the initiators of disorder. He said that “candidates rejected by the CEC had neither moral, nor legal rights to participate in the elections”. “They are trying to undermine the election process, pressing CEC, and discrediting the republic. The government is ready to provide security to CEC members. We will take the strictest measures against those presidential candidates who try to interfere and provoke” said Kokoity. “Tedeev can appeal the decision of the CEC in the court, and nobody hinders him”, he added.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania expressed concern regarding the escalation of events in the occupied region at the regular Monday briefing at the Foreign Ministry. According to Jalagania, the Georgian side is attentively observing the ongoing processes and informs its partner countries. “We are constantly in dialogue over this issue with our partners, though we are not going to exaggerate this issue, since this is the confrontation of local clans over which clan will head and serve the Russian occupation regime,” stated Jalagania.

Disorder in Tskhinvali has been continuing over the last several days. This was at first due to the rejection of Tedeev’s presidential candidacy by CEC officially citing that Tedeev cannot be registered as a presidential candidate since he had not been living in the so-called South Ossetia over the past 10 years. According to Tedeev, about 90 of his supporters have been detained. The elections are supposed to be held on November 13.