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S. Ossetia opposition caves to government

By Ernest Petrosyan
Tuesday, February 14
Acting leader of the South Ossetian breakaway region, Vadim Brovtsev, requested that Parliament dismiss the regime's chief prosecutor, for allegedly attempting to encourage an opposition insurrection inspired by the recent raid of opposition leader Alla Jioyeva's office, and her subsequent hospitalization.

An earlier deal signed between the opposition and the government in November 2011, after a fortnight of street rallies and unrest in Tskhinvali, called for the dismissal of Chief Prosecutor Teimuraz Khugaev and Supreme Court Chair, Atsamaz Bichenov, who decided to annul November's presidential election results.

However, the deal did not make it through Parliament, as ex-President Eduard Kokoity’s ruling party declined to dismiss the officials, as they are party allies. This was one of the reasons behind Jioyeva’s decision in January to withdraw the deal.

Jioyeva, the winner of annulled presidential run-off in November, announced a self-inauguration to take place on February 10, and condemned a planned repeat election on March 25 as illegitimate. However, on February 9 she was hospitalized after her office was raided by law enforcement officers, who intended to interrogate Jioyeva in connection with post-election unrest in Tskhinvali. While in custody, she suffered from a suspected cardiovascular event.

As of Monday, Jioyeva’s health is reported to be “significantly improved,” and she had been transferred from intensive care to a cardiology unit for further treatment.

Meanwhile, the opposition in South Ossetia has conceded. According to a statement signed by all fourteen would-be candidates, they will “accept the choice” of voters in the repeat election and “stand beside” the new leader. The statement also affirms that “external forces have no right to interfere in domestic affairs of our state".

The deadline for candidate nomination expired on February 9; the central election commission has to formally register candidates before February 29. Among the would-be candidates are the breakaway region’s ambassador to Moscow, Dmitry Medoev; Deputy Defense Minister Igor Alborov; ex-head of the state information committee, Georgi Kabisov; one of the Vice-Chairs of Parliament, Yuri Dzitsoiti; and special envoy for human rights, David Sanakoev. As for recently defeated presidential candidate, Anatoly Bibilov, he has refused to run in the repeat election.