As anticipated, none of the four candidates in the March 25 repeat election for de facto president of Georgia’s unrecognized region of South Ossetia polled the 50 percent plus one vote required for a clear first-round win. A runoff has accordingly been scheduled for April 8 between opposition-backed candidate Leonid Tibilov, who polled 42.48 percent of the vote, and human rights ombudsman David Sanakoyev, who finished second with 24.58 percent. The original election for a successor to Eduard Kokoity, who was barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive presidential term, degenerated into a major political standoff after the republic’s Supreme Court annulled the second-round victory on November 27 of opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva.
Following talks mediated by senior Russian officials, Dzhioyeva acknowledged the legality of the annulment in December, but then revoked that acknowledgement and scheduled her inauguration as legally elected president for February 10. Those plans were thwarted, however, by security personnel who forced their way into Dzhioyeva’s headquarters and forcibly took her into custody. She was kept under armed guard in a Tskhinvali clinic until the day before the repeat election.
All four candidates have formally accepted the official results of the March 25 vote, even de facto South Ossetian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Dmitry Medoyev, who finished third with 23.79 percent of the vote — just 142 votes fewer than Sanakoyev. In contrast to the first round of voting last November, this time there were no allegations of serious malpractice, although Sanakoyev noted various minor violations. Voter turnout was even higher, at 70.28 percent, than during the first round of voting on November 13 (67.05 percent).
Full Article: Repeat Presidential Election In South Ossetia Inconclusive.