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S Ossetia has "day of silence" before presidential election

March 24, 2012, 4:39 UTC+3

The presidential elections will be held on March 25

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TKHINVAL, March 24 (Itar-Tass) —— South Ossetia this Saturday has a "day of silence" in the presidential election campaign, when any forms of electioneering are prohibited for the press, radio, television, candidates themselves and their supporters.

At the same time, the legislation stipulates that electioneering posters must be removed only from territories near polling stations and inside the premises, but it is not obligatory to tear off all the posters from walls and trees during the night to Saturday.

According to Central Election Commission Chairwoman Bella Pliyeva, the candidates for the presidency conducted their campaigns without law violations. "No violations by candidates or their supporters were reported. All acted within the law. Neither oral nor written complaints from candidates or their headquarters about any violations were brought to the Central Election Commission," she said.

The debates were held correctly, she noted. The candidates held many meetings with voters. They had equal access to media, including radio and television.

Local observers agree that a number of important provisions in the programmes of the candidates are similar. One of the observers noted the provisions were needed very much, and the future president must implement them during the five years if he wants to retain the people's confidence and remain for the second term.

One of the most important is election of power representatives. This is set down in the programme of candidate Leonid Tibilov, ex-chief of the republic's KGB (state security committee). He intends to ensure the law supremacy and equality of citizens, carry out structural and staff reforms in all the power structures and form local self-government structures.

Other candidate David Sanakoyev, the republic's human rights commissioner, states it is necessary to ensure equality of citizens to obey the law and advocates testing for officials and election of executives.

Candidate Dmitry Medoyev, South Ossetian Ambassador to Russia, believes the main things are restoration of confidence in authorities, election of power structures and development of domestic production in the republic.

The South Ossetian Communist Party’s First Secretary Stanislav Kochiyev in case he wins the elections promises to tighten anti-corruption measures, set up a constitutional court, resolutely fight injustice and arbitrariness, introduce elections of local self-government authorities and all judges and chiefs of district police departments. He also advocates the unification of the North and the South of Ossetia and its joining to the Russian Federation.

The presidential elections will be held on March 25. The republic's parliament set the date after the Supreme Council declared the results of the November 2011 elections invalid due to numerous violations.

Five constituencies are formed in the republic. There are 83 polling stations. One will open in Moscow at the South Ossetian embassy.

The elections will be held from 08:00 to 20:00 Moscow time.

The Central Election Commission will begin to announce the preliminary results on the night to March 26.

Forty thousand ballots are printed and sent to the polling stations.

The election commission has worked out measures to prevent fraud. The candidates' observers will be present at each of the polling stations. A ballot without a signature of some of them will be not valid. A voter's passport will be specially stamped to prevent voting for more than once at various polling stations.

More than 40 observers from Russia -- representatives from the State Duma, the Federation Council, the Russian Central Election Commission and the foundation Free Elections -- will monitor the vote.

More than 50 Russian reporters will give coverage of the elections.

Under the law, a turnout of more than 50 percent is required for the vote to be valid.

A candidate needs to gain 50 percent of the votes plus one vote to win. If none of the candidates gains the required number, the second round, the runoff for two leading candidates, will be held within 15 days.

Head of the republic is elected for five years.

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