With 87% of the votes counted, Alla Jioyeva is leading in the presidential runoff held in South Ossetia on Sunday, according to the breakaway region's Central Election Commission.
Jioyeva, 62-year-old former school teacher and ex-education minister of the breakaway region, has 56.74% votes, Bela Plieva, a chairperson of the CEC, said, according to the local news agency.
Anatoly Bibilov, the emergency situations minister whose candidacy was openly supported by the Kremlin, has 40% votes.
The figures are based on results from 74 out of 85 polling stations, according to CEC.
Total of about 27,000 voters cast their ballot in the Sunday's runoff, the CEC chairperson said.
Meanwhile, a reporter for RFE/RL's Russian-language service, Ekho Kavkaza, reported before the early results were announced that Bibilov himself and his supporters in his campaign headquarters "were very upset" with the results from the polling stations, as it was in stark contrast from what they were expecting before the runoff.