TSKHINVAL, February 6 (Itar-Tass) —— South Ossetian Minister for Emergency Situations Anatoly Bibilov, who was a candidate in the presidential election in South Ossetia last November, declared he will not take part in a repeat election scheduled for March 25, Bibilov told journalists on Monday.
"I do not intend to run for presidency in the repeat election due in March, which gives a possibility to citizens to stop confrontations and make their choice in calm," Bibilov said. He called on all the ex-candidates, who took part in the November 13 presidential election last year, to follow his example.
In the runoff election held on November 27 Bibilov lost to his rival, Alla Dzhioyeva, who collected more votes in her support than Bibilov did. The Unity party to which Bibilov belongs challenged the results of the election, claiming that there were many violations throughout Dzhioyeva's election campaign. The Supreme Court of South Ossetia ruled the election invalid and the South Ossetian parliament moved the presidential election to March 25.
Dzhioyeva's supporters staged the opposition rally, which continued for many days and ended in signing of a reconciliatory agreement with the ex-president, Eduard Kokoity, who resigned from his post. Shortly after Kokoity's resignation Alla Dzhioyeva declared that she would withdraw her signature from the agreement and would not take part in the March presidential election because she already considered herself to be a legitimately elected president. Dzhioyeva has also appointed her own inauguration for February 10.
Dzhioyeva’s conduct evoked a negative response from her own supporters. Ex-defense Minister of South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich, who was one of the chief organizers of the rally staged by Dzhioyeva's supporters, expressed regret at Dzhioyeva's position. “Regrettably, Alla Alekseyevna (Dzhioyeva) made a decision to hold her own inauguration on February 10. I fear that the move might lead to bloodshed,” Barankevich warned.