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SOssetia S Court to review Unity party complaint against Dzhioyeva

November 29, 2011, 11:18 UTC+3

Supreme Court Chairman Atsamaz Bichenov said earlier that the submitted complaints contain data about bribery of voters

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TSKHINVAL, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — The South Ossetian Supreme Court on Tuesday will consider complaints of the republic's political party Unity that nominated Anatoly Bibilov as a presidential candidate, against the supporters of other candidate - Alla Dzhioyeva and the Central Election Commission (CEC) that allegedly failed to stop violations during the voting.

Supreme Court Chairman Atsamaz Bichenov said earlier that the submitted complaints contain data about bribery of voters, exerting pressure on the voting participants and about illegal campaigning. The Supreme Court was to study the submitted complaint on Monday, however, the consideration was postponed due to the fact that the applicant referred to the need “to provide additional information,” Bichenov said.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC) of South Ossetia, after counting the voting results at 74 polling stations of the total 85, for Alla Dzhioyeva has the support of 56.7 percent of voters who came to the polls on Sunday in the second round of the presidential election. Head of the Unity party Anatoly Bibilov has scored 40 percent of the vote.

Bibilov has stated that he considered the figures released by the CEC to be unreliable. “We have completely different information from the polling stations. According to this information, we are in the lead. In addition, we have evidence that the CEC members were under pressure,” he said.

According to Bibilov “on the election day voters were being bribed, and campaigning was held openly for them.” The party head said he was ready to accept any decision made by the Supreme Court. “The decision, which the Supreme Court makes on the complaint, even if this decision is not in our favour, will be accepted by us,” said Bibilov.

His opponent Alla Dzhioyeva for her part said that “on Sunday, all observers and members of the CEC stated that the elections passed normally, except for some minor working aspects” and called on Anatoly Bibilov to recognise his defeat. “I take this opportunity to once again appeal to the opponent, Bibilov Anatoly Ilyich (with a call) to display his civic stance and accept defeat with dignity,” stressed Dzhioyeva.

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 earlier 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.”

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.

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