In what appears to be an attempt to soothe opposition’s outrage following an incident, which led to opposition leader Alla Jioyeva’s hospitalization last week, acting leader of breakaway South Ossetia requested parliament to sack chief prosecutor.
Dismissal of chief prosecutor Taimuraz Khugaev and chairman of supreme court Atsamaz Bichenov was one of the provisions of a deal between opposition and the authorities signed in December with Russia’s mediation following annulment of November presidential run-off; the deal ended two-week long street protest rally led by Jioyeva.
The provision, however, was not fulfilled as breakaway region’s parliament, dominated by ex-South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity’s ruling party, voted down dismissal of these two senior officials who are Kokoity’s close allies. Refusal to dismiss chief prosecutor and supreme court chair was one of the reasons behind Jioyeva’s decision in January to withdraw from the deal.
After quitting this post-election deal, Jioyeva, who won annulled presidential run-off in November, announced about intention to hold self-inauguration on February 10, condemning planned repeat election on March 25 as illegitimate; but on February 9 she was hospitalized after her office was, as her supporters said, “raided” by the law enforcement officers, who wanted to interrogate Jioyeva in connection to post-election “unrests” in Tskhinvali.
This time it is more likely that the breakaway region’s legislative body will endorse dismissal of the chief prosecutor.
Local news agency, RES, reported on February 13 quoting a doctor, that Jioyeva’s health “significantly improved” and she had been transferred from intensive care unit to a cardiology unit for further treatment.
Meanwhile, all fourteen would-be candidates for March 25 repeat election made a joint statement on February 12, vowing that they would “accept the choice” of voters in the repeat election and “stand beside” the new leader. The statement also says that “external forces have no right to interfere in domestic affairs of our state.”
Deadline for nominating candidates expired on February 9; the breakaway region’s central election commission has to formally register candidates before February 29. Among the would-be candidates are the breakaway region’s ambassador to Moscow Dmitry Medoev; deputy defense minister Igor Alborov; ex-head of state information committee Georgi Kabisov; one of the vice-speakers of parliament Yuri Dzitsoiti and a special envoy for human rights David Sanakoev. Anatoly Bibilov, who was defeated in the annulled November presidential run-off by Jioyeva, has refused to run in the repeat election.