Anatoly Bibilov, whose United Ossetia party won majority of seats in breakaway South Ossetian parliament in the June 8 elections, was elected as speaker of newly convened legislative body on Monday.
Bibilov, whose party holds 20 seats in 34-member parliament, was elected with 30 votes to 3, Tskhinvali-based news agency, RES, reported.
Joining Russia was one of the key campaign themes of the United Ossetia party ahead of elections; it was calling for holding a referendum on this issue.
“We are not rejecting our slogans,” Bibilov told Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency on June 23. “The issue will be put on referendum, but the completely formed, consolidated, working Parliament should become involved in this issue.”
Three other parties, which also won seats in breakaway region’s new parliament are: Unity of People, led by head of Java district Vladimir Kelekhsaev (6 seats); People’s Party and Nikhas (4 seats each).
Addressing inaugural session of the new legislative body, breakaway region’s leader Leonid Tibilov listed among the priorities South Ossetia’s “further integration into the Russian space.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov, who is in charge of overseeing Moscow’s relations with breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, arrived in Tskhinvali for a two-day visit on June 23, RES reported.
On June 23 Surkov, among other officials, also met newly elected lawmakers of the breakaway region.