Defeat of a Kremlin-backed candidate in the breakaway South Ossetia’s leadership race shows that interests of people living in the occupied territory sharply differ from those of Moscow, Davit Bakradze, the Georgian parliamentary speaker, said.
A day after early results of the Sunday’s runoff gave victory to an opposition candidate, the supreme court of breakaway region annulled the results and the local parliament set March 25, 2012 as the date of repeat election.
“Even under those conditions in which elections are held there – under conditions of total fraud, total violence – the candidate placed by Russia [reference to Anatoly Bibilov] faces serious problems,” Bakradze said in televised comments on November 29.
“This is in itself an interesting sign,” he continued. “Let’s recall recent developments, when Russia completed talks with Georgia on [Russia's] WTO membership without even reminding about its so called daughter ‘states’ and without asking for an opinion of Abkhazians and Ossetians even once.”
“On the other hand, the candidate supported by the Russian President has in fact lost. I think that the both of these cases clearly demonstrate that Russia and the people living on the occupied territories have very few common interests. Although the both regions [of Abkhazia and South Ossetia] are under the occupation, although a very strong propagandistic pressure is being exerted on both of the regions that Russia is their protector and patron, it is quite clear that the interests of Russia and the population now living in those regions are diametrically different. I think that it should be a very important signal for both local population [of Abkhazia and South Ossetia] and for those people in Russia, who try to pursue and justify the policy of occupation,” Bakradze said.