TSKHINVAL, November 28 (Itar-Tass) — Contradictory information on the results of voting in the second round of the South Ossetian presidential election is coming from the headquarters of the candidates for the post of the head of state.
According to the headquarters of the presidential candidate Anatoly Bibilov, after counting of more than a half of the electorate’s votes, Bibilov has won 8,525 votes. Alla Dzhioyeva has received 7,407 votes.
The headquarters have noted that the election results after the remaining ballots are counted are not likely to change considerably and are already celebrating the victory.
However, the headquarters of presidential candidate Alla Dzhioyeva are also confident of victory. She said she had no idea how she can be “deprived of this victory.”
According to the latest updated preliminary data of the republic’s Central Election Commission (CEC), after counting 50.59 percent of the votes Alla Dzhioyeva has scored 9,972 votes (51.37 percent) and Anatoly Bibilov – 8,971 votes (46.21 percent).
In the opinion of international observers, voting in the second round of the South Ossetian presidential election passed peacefully, in accordance with generally accepted democratic norms and without major violations.
Officials of the South Ossetian CEC reported that the presidential election in South Ossetia had a voter turnout of more than 80 percent.
Bibilov said that in case of defeat “we will not stage any rallies. If the difference between us proves insignificant, we will turn to the CEC asking for specified information.”
Law enforcement authorities of South Ossetia are ready to stop any attempts at organising unrest in Tskhinval. The republic’s Prosecutor General’s Office informs that “at present the central square of Tskhinval is cordoned off, some 200 law enforcement officers have been sent there.”
The first round of the presidential election in South Ossetia was held on 13 November 2011. A referendum was held on the same day. A run-off was held on 27 November 2011. Incumbent president Eduard Kokoity is constitutionally banned from serving a third term in office. Attempts were made to call a referendum to change the constitution, but this was blocked by the Supreme Court. Another attempt to change the constitution by a two-thirds majority in parliament was blocked by parliamentary chairman and Communist Party of South Ossetia leader Stanislav Kochiyev.
Kokoity himself has stated he has no intention in seeking a third term, and called on everybody to refrain from initiatives to allow him to serve a third term. Kokoity does make it clear that he will not disappear from the South Ossetian political scene.
In the end, 17 candidates were registered by the electoral commission, including former Prime Minister Merab Chigoyev, Education Minister Alla Dzhioyeva and incumbent Emergencies Minister Anatoly Bibilov. Days before the election, candidate Ivar Bestayev withdrew from the election, his name was not included on the ballots. This left 16 candidates, but in the following days five more candidates withdrew, including Chigoyev.
Anatoly Bibilov was backed by Russia. A letter in his support from Vladimir Putin was read at an election meeting, several United Russia members of parliament visited the republic and expressed their support for Bibilov. Alla Dzhioyeva received support from Dzambolat Tedeyev (who had been denied a registration in the presidential elections) and Anatoly Barankevich, former Minister of Defence of South Ossetia, who were both in opposition to the incumbent president Eduard Kokoity. She campaigned on the deficit of fuel, lack of cellular network in parts of the republic and misappropriated funds provided for the post-war reconstruction of South Ossetia by Russia.
Polling stations were open from 8:00 until 20:00. There were 86 such stations, located all over the country, as well as in Moscow and Sukhum. Special polling stations were opened for South Ossetian citizens living in North Ossetia-Alania.
In South Ossetia, a turnout of 50 percent + 1 vote is required for any election to be valid. This threshold was reached around 16:00. No candidate reached a majority of votes in the first round, which led to a runoff on 27 November. The participants were Bibilov and Dzhioyeva, who got about the same amount of votes.