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South Ossetia preparing for runoff election

March 27, 2012, 12:15 UTC+3

South Ossetia summed up the preliminary results of the presidential election

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MOSCOW, March 27 (Itar-Tass) — South Ossetia summed up the preliminary results of the presidential election. Taking part in the runoff election are former head of the republic's State Security Committee /KGB/ Leonid Tibilov and ombudsman David Sanakoyev. Tibilov gathered 42.48 percent of votes, and Sanakoyev 24.5 percent, according to preliminary results. The runoff election is due on April 8. Despite the fact that Tibilov leads, the outcome of the presidential race if far from being clear.

As of now, all the candidates and politicians of South Ossetia acknowledge the results of the first round, including Alla Dzhioyeva, the "Novye Izvestia" writes. There have been some complaints about voter bribing, of which the hopefuls accused each other. But it is unlikely to lead to mass protest actions or accusations of election fraud.

Tibilov's clear lead can be explained by the fact that he had succeeded to lure to his side the undecided part of the electorate," the "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" believes. Perhaps, the fact that communist leader Stanislav Kochiyev joined the election race just a week before the voting contributed to his success. Observers said Kochiyev's calls for joining Russia were too insistent. His venerable age might have been another negative factor.

Leonid Tibilov, a clear favorite, does not doubt his victory, the "RBK Daily" notes. He points out at insufficient experience of his opponent David Sanakoyev and promises bright future to him, but "in five years." Local sources believe Sanakoyev's age /he is only 35/ and his being single can be negative factors.

The hopefuls have already begun talks with the losing candidates trying to win the support of their electorate, the newspaper believes. David Sanakoyev has more chances to forge a coalition with Dmitry Medoyev who finished third in the first round and Communist leader Stanislav Kochiyev who finished last. First, the ombudsman's campaign was more restrained and he did not enter open confrontation with his opponents. Secondly, his milieu is less radical than Tibilov's. The siding of some Opposition members with Tibilov, including supporters of well-known wrestler Dzambolat Tedeyev, makes part of South Ossetia's residents suspicious.

The upcoming April 8 election may prove to be most fascinating in the history of the e republic, the "Kommersant" notes. For the first time, the favorites were selected in a relatively fair game, without obvious external pressure. If such conditions of competition keep during the runoff election, South Ossetia will show a high degree of political maturity both to itself and its neighbors, the newspaper said.

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