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TIRASPOL, December 25 (Itar-Tass) — The self-proclaimed Dniester republic started the second round of presidential elections, the CEC of the breakaway republic told reporters.
Citizens have to decide who of the two candidates – former speaker of the republican parliament Yevgeny Shevchuk or present parliament speaker Anatoly Kaminsky – will rule the republic over the next five years. They collected the greatest numbers of votes in the first round, held two weeks ago – 38.55 and 26.3 percent, respectively.
Igor Smirnov, who uninterruptedly ran the Dniester republic since 1990, collected 24 percent and fell out of the race.
Thus, the Central Election Commission faced for the first time the procedure of holding the run-off : in the past, Smirnov invariably overwhelmed weak rivals already in the first round. The winner in the run-off is determined by the majority of gained votes, and if the two gain a similar result, the preference will be given to the one who collected the greatest number of votes in the first round.
The elections can be called invalid if the majority of electors vote “against all”. Most observers regard this version as improbable.
It is planned that the CEC will announce the preliminary results on Monday morning, while the final results – within five days. Under the Constitution of the Dniester republic, the newly elected president takes an oath of allegiance no later than 30 days after the official announcement of the results.