Four parties are contesting in parliamentary elections held in breakaway South Ossetia on May 31.
This is the fifth parliamentary election in the breakaway region and the first one since Russia recognized its independence.
Candidates from Communist Party; Unity; People’s Party and ‘Fidibasta’ – Fatherland Party are contesting for 34 seats in the breakaway region’s legislative body.
Out of four only one – ‘Fidibasta’ – Fatherland Party is regarded to be in the opposition to South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity. The party leader Vyacheslav Gobozov describes his party as “a constructive, not radical opposition.”
Meanwhile, Albert Jusoev, a Moscow-based Ossetian entrepreneur, said recently that he, along with some other critics of South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, would establish an opposition movement to seek early presidential elections in the region. Jusoev, who accuses Kokoity of usurpation of power and corruption, also said Kokoity would use the parliamentary elections to further increase his grip on power and also suggested that after the polls Kokoity would introduce constitutional amendments allowing him to run for presidency for third term in 2011.
The breakaway region's Central Election Commission has claimed that 52,436 voters have been registered.
These are also the first time when the authorities of the breakaway region hold elections in the areas, particularly in Akhalgori district, which before the August war were under the Georgian authorities’ control. Officials in Tbilisi, however, say that election there is simply a formality with local Georgian population remaining in Akhalgori are not participating.
Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, told Rustavi 2 TV on May 31, that ongoing polls in the breakaway region “in fact have nothing to do with genuine elections.”