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Kokoity Expected to Step Down on Saturday
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 10 Dec.'11 / 13:03

Outgoing leader of breakaway South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, will announce about his resignation as part of a deal with opposition later on Saturday afternoon, reports say.

According to the reports from Tskhinvali supporters of Alla Jioyeva, an opposition candidate whose victory in the November 27 presidential runoff was annulled, kept ninth all-night vigil in Tskhinvali’s central square overnight on Saturday and are now waiting for Kokoity to announce about his resignation.

RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting a source from Kokoity’s administration that outgoing leader would announce about quitting the post at 5pm local time on Saturday.

“I have good news for you,” Jioyeva told few hundred cheering supporters outside the governmental building late on Friday night after talks with Kokoity and a Kremlin official. “I have never been guided by personal interests and the state’s interests have always prevailed over personal ones; that’s what we did now too. The South Ossetian society was seriously divided, standing on the opposite sides of barricades… I believe that today’s deal will help to consolidate the South Ossetian society and it will confirm that we are standing on the path of serious democratic changes.”

The deal, dubbed as a compromise agreement, paves way for repeat presidential election on March 25, 2012 in which Jioyeva will have the right to run. Previously she was strongly against of any repeat polls, saying that her victory over Kremlin-backed candidate Anatoly Bibilov was stolen by the authorities when they annulled results of the November 27 presidential runoff. Before the deal Kokoity was also strongly against of stepping down before the repeat election in March. Some of his closest allies, including chief prosecutor, his deputy and chairman of supreme court will also resign, according to the deal.

PM Vadim Brovtsev, not a native of South Ossetia who was sent into the breakaway region from Russia to lead its government in summer, 2009, will assume duties of an interim leader before the inauguration of a new leader, elected in the March polls. It was earlier reported by some supporters of Jioyeva that an opposition representative would be appointed as Brovtsev’s deputy as part of the deal; the text of the agreement posted on local official news agency’s website, however, does not contain such provision.

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