Secessionist authorities in South Ossetia are holding presidential elections and an independence referendum on its controlled territories of breakaway region on November 12.
In a parallel election being carried out on November 12 in the Tbilisi-controlled areas of breakaway region, constituents are also voting for a president and casting ballots in a referendum asking whether they want to reunite with Georgia or not.
Incumbent South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity is most likely to be re-elected in polls organized by the secessionist authorities.
South Ossetia’s ex-prime minister Dimitri Sanakoev is the frontrunner candidate in the so-called alternative elections managed by a central election commission based in the Georgian village of Eredvi.
Both of the central election commissions – one in Tskhinvali and the other in Eredvi - reported “high voter turnout” by noon.
Reports say that there are no signs of tensions in the conflict zone.
The EU, U.S. and NATO have already condemned the presidential elections and independence referendum in the breakaway region.
Moscow has not done the same.
Regardless of the international response to the independence referendum in South Ossetia, the polls will become an “indicator of the South Ossetian people’s stance, which should be considered in real politics,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on November 10.
But Moscow has condemned the so-called alternative polls as an attempt by Tbilisi to create an “alternative government” of South Ossetia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned that this could lead to “military confrontation.”
It also said that the South Ossetian referendum is a response to Tbilisi’s aggressive policy towards Tskhinvali.
But in an interview with EuroNews on November 12 Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli reiterated Tbilisi’s readiness to peacefully solve the secessionist conflicts.
“The Russians are portraying us recently as if we want to start a war. Their recent rhetoric and actions lead us to draw the conclusion that they are basically getting prepared for war. This is why we need to get this problem addressed and war needs to be avoided definitely,” PM Nogaideli said.