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South Ossetian opposition considers boycott of repeat elections

By Ernest Petrosyan
Monday, January 23
Breakaway South Ossetian opposition leader Alla Jioyeva, whose victory in November’s presidential runoff was annulled by the Eduard Kokoity administration, told supporters at a rally in Tskhinvali on Saturday that she would not participate in the “illegitimate” repeat elections set for March 25.

Only a few days ago, Jioyeva announced her intention to break the post-election agreement made with authorities, and called on the acting South Ossetian leader, Vadim Brovtsev, to resign and “transfer power” to her. “We will wait for the reply on this mail until January 23, and then I will announce the date of my inauguration,” said Jioyeva to her supporters at the rally, the Osinform news agency reports.

She also asserted that she will to appeal the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision according to which her victory was annulled. “The session should be in an open regime also going on air in order to make people know their heroes and antiheroes,” added Jioyeva.

Jioyeva’s supporters – reports on their numbers varied from one to two hundred – gathered outside her office in the breakaway region’s capital on January 21 to protest against the authorities’ failure to observe the post-election deal.

In a written statement released by Brovtsev’s press office on January 21, Jioyeva’s withdrawal from the agreement is condemned as an “unconstructive” move, “aimed at [the] deliberate destabilization of internal political situation in the republic ahead of the repeat elections".

Meanwhile, according to Osinform, Russian national free-style-wrestling team trainer Jambolat Tedeev resumed his campaign to register as a presidential candidate for the March repeat elections. According to Tedeev, the ruling body on South Ossetian residency has decided to remove Tedeev’s candidacy for the March presidential runoff. “They are insisting on [removing] my candidacy, [while] almost half of the republic’s populations arrived in Moscow with such request,” said Tedeev to the IA Regnum news agency.

Tedeev, a strong opponent of Kokoity's regime, was barred by the de-facto South Ossetian Central Election Commission on the grounds of not meeting a 10 year residency requirement. After Tedeev’s failure, he encouraged his supporters to back his protege, Alla Jioyeva, who at the time said that she decided to run after all the “heavyweight” opposition candidates were barred from candidacy.

Jioyeva commented on Tedeev’s decision, saying that Tedeev’s intention to run “shows once again that we do not depend on each other".

Several potential candidates willing to run in the repeat election have already appealed to the breakaway region’s central election commission, among them ex-head of state information committee Georgi Kabisov; deputy defense minister Igor Alborov and one of the vice-speakers of parliament Yuri Dzitsoiti. The deadline for nominating candidates expires on February 9, after which the central election commission will then start the process of registration, expected to last until February 29.