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Moscow fails to ensure the election of its protege to the post of president of South Ossetia

November 29, 2011, 12:06 UTC+3

Experts regard the election results as a defeat of the Kremlin, which counted on Bibilov

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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — Presidential elections in South Ossetia ended with a sensation. The South Ossetian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) made public on Monday the preliminary results of the voting, under which All Dzhioyeva, a candidate from the opposition, came first. Dzhioyeva, ex-ministr of education, got 14,828 votes, and Anatoly Bibilov, minister for emergency situations, who was supported by Moscow, got 10,462 votes. It is too early, however, to say that Dzhioyeva won the elections. Bibilov said that not the CEC resolution, but the ruling of the Supreme Court would decide the matter. The Supreme Court is going to discuss the case on Tuesday. It urged participants in the elections not to make any statements before it passed judgement. Experts regard the election results as a defeat of the Kremlin, which counted on Bibilov.

Bibilov accused Dzhioyeva’s team of exerting pressure on CEC, The Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Shortly before he came up with the accusations Dzhioyeva urged Bibilov to recognize his defeat and to eliminate in this way the tension that emerged in South Ossetia. In her opinion, thousands of votes, which brought her the advantage, “are a big figure in such a tiny republic,” and no one will be able to reduce her victory to naught.

Irrespective of wheher the Supreme Court supports Bibilov or not (it looks like nothing else could help the presidential candidate, supported by the Kremlin), one thing is clear: Moscow’s plan of the elections in the republic, which owes everything to Russia, did not come true, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The country, which claims to be a superpower, could not ensure the victory of its prot·g· in the presidential elections, using legitimate means, in he republic, whose population is about 50,000. The support of President Dmitry Medvedev did not help (he had a meeting with Bibilov in Vladikavkaz last week and made it clear that it is Bibilov, who deserves to be president of South Ossetia).

The newspaper does not understand why Moscow needed its candidate, whose victory was not a certainty, in the region, where all candidates supports Russia. There are neither pro-Western, nor pro-Georgian candidates in South Ossetia. Everybody supports Russia there, irrespective of what clan or what politicl party he belongs to. No matter who is elected president, Moscow’s positions in South Ossetia will not be jeopardized, especially today, in conditions of total political and economic dependence on Russia. Now, however, the support for Russia on the part of South Ossetians may not be absolute.

Dzhioyeva believes that the Russian leaders were deluded by “inefficient officials.” Irina Glagoleva, head of the IR media centre, believes that “there can be no anti-Russian candidates in South Ossetia, and it is senseless to play that card.” In her opinion, Moscow should regard the choice, made by the South Ossetian people, not as a challenge, but as “the desire of the people, to make a choice on their own.”

Alla Dzhioyeva had a meeting with Minister of the Interior Valery Valiyev at the press centre on Monday, The Moskovsky Komsomolets reports. Valiyev promised not to allow civil confrontation in South Osseia. The opposition obtained unofficial information saying that Kokoity asked the North Ossetian authorities to send more troops to their republic, but the answer was “no.”

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