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South Ossetia election results declared invalid OS

November 30, 2011, 12:33 UTC+3

The election resulted in the victory of opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva over the Kremlin-backed Anatoly Bibilov

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MOSCOW, November 30 (Itar-Tass) — The Supreme Court of South Ossetia on Tuesday invalidated the results of the republic’s presidential election, which, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC), resulted in the victory of opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva over the Kremlin-backed Anatoly Bibilov with a margin of 16 percent. Dzhioyeva’s supporters called the court’s decision a “power grab” and took to the streets of Tskhinval staging protest actions.

The meeting of the republic’s Supreme Court on an appeal of the Unity party concerning bribery of voters at polling stations and exerting pressure on members of the CEC was to begin on Tuesday morning at 09:00 a.m., but the judges begun to work only in the middle of the day – rumours were spreading in Tskhinval that that the republic’s leadership was consulting with Moscow, Kommersant writes. Journalists were not admitted to the court sitting. The hearing was attended by representatives of the Central Election Commission and the Unity party that nominated for president Emergencies Minister Anatoly Bibilov. Representatives of the headquarters of opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva refused to attend the court meeting, accusing the authorities of trying to take away the victory from their candidate. At 16:00 p.m., a secretary came out of the Supreme Court building and read out a resolution cancelling the election results. “All of the alleged violations have been confirmed,” said the secretary. The judge promised to formalise the resolution and the statement of reasons within five days.

“The consequences of the court decision may be the most unpredictable,” ex-Defence Minister of South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich told the publication. “Even blood may be shed,” he supposes.

The decision to cancel the presidential election results put South Ossetia before the threat of civil war – the level of dissatisfaction with the authorities in the country is high, people keep many weapons, the newspaper notes.

Kommersant also published an interview with Alla Dzhioyeva who told the newspaper how she intends to defend her victory.

In her opinion, the decision of the Supreme Court that invalidated the election results was influenced by the incumbent President Kokoity, “who is the personification of lawlessness in South Ossetia.” “He could not adequately manage and cannot transfer the power in a civilized manner,” Alla Dzhioyeva said.

She says she intends to resist: “They want to steal our victory. But we will stand up to the end!” Dzhioyeva also said that a group of her supporters had returned from a meeting with the opponent Bibilov: “... he told them that he would be willing to admit defeat, but the Kremlin does not allow him to do it.”

Recognising the election results invalid has put South Ossetia on the brink of collapse, Izvestiya believes. The newspaper reported that the parliament of South Ossetia at an emergency meeting on Tuesday night set the date of a repeat presidential election - it is scheduled for March 25, 2012. Dzhioyeva is banned from participation in them, and Bibilov’s participation is undecided.

Novaya Gazeta states that the supporters of Alla Dzhioyeva have publicly accused Eduard Kokoity of the seizure of power, and privately declared that Moscow has stolen their victory. And now they are threatening with large-scale protests, up to an armed confrontation. Opposition supporters are arriving from the mountain villages to Tskhinval by buses, the newspaper writes.

Moskovsky Komsomolets believes that the current South Ossetian authorities simply could not accept the fact that the candidate backed by the Kremlin and Eduard Kokoity, has suffered a humiliating defeat in the elections. The way out that was found in this situation by the pro-government group is no less shameful, the publication believes. In the small South Ossetia where all people are familiar with each other it is known for certain for whom each voted.

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