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South Ossetia starts voting in presidential run-off

April 08, 2012, 9:05 UTC+3

Ballots have names of two candidates - Leonid Tibilov and David Sanakoyev

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TSKHINVAL, April 8 (Itar-Tass) — South Ossetia started voting in the presidential run-off elections this Sunday.

“All 84 polling stations opened at 08.00 – in the capital and districts of the republic as well as one in Moscow. The voting will last till 20.00, while the announcement of preliminary results is expected at 22.00,” the republican Central Election Commission told Itar-Tass.

CEC chairwoman Bella Plieva emphasized that polling stations in South Ossetia are equipped with webcams for the first time. “Webcams are installed at polls in the republican capital Tskhinval and in district centres. Two cameras operate at each polling station: inside the premises and at the entrance,” Plieva noted.

Videos from cameras that will operate between 08.00 and 20.00, can be viewed on-line at the CEC Information Centre.

The CEC head assured reporters on the eve of voting that South Ossetia is ready for the run-off. According to Plieva, 40,000 ballot papers were printed and dispatched to district and precinct commissions, taking into account the fact that election lists contain 39,790 registered voters.

Ballots have names of two candidates who collected the greatest number of votes in the first round on March 25 (42.48 and 24.58 percent of the electorate respectively) – ex-head of the South Ossetian KGB Leonid Tibilov and human rights commissioner at the republican president David Sanakoyev.

“The winner is determined by the simple majority of votes. Incidentally, the number of electors, voting “against all”, is not to top the number of votes, collected by the winner,” Plieva underlined. The CEC head also pointed out that the elections will be pronounced valid if over 30 percent of voters go to the polls.

The CEC worked out several measures to prevent rigging. Representatives of the presidential candidates are present at all polling stations: a ballot paper will be regarded invalid without their signatures on the reverse side of the ballot. To avoid "a carousel voting", special stamps are put into voters’ passports.

Such stamps were put in the first round as well as in the two rounds in November 2011.

The monitoring of elections will be conducted by international observers from Russia, the breakaway Dniester Moldovan Republic and Nagorno-Karabakh. Plieva said that “the CEC sent invitations to international observers who had followed the process of voting at the presidential elections on March 25, and all of them confirmed their agreement to come for the run-off”. She also added that no exit polls would be conducted during the run-off.

The CEC Information Centre opened in Tskhinval simultaneously with the start of the elections. All information on progress in voting will pour in there. The centre will supply the mass media with preliminary information on election results.

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