De Facto South Ossetian Leader Leonid Tibilov announced at his December 29 press conference that the referendum on renaming breakaway South Ossetia to “South Ossetia – Alania” will coincide with presidential elections in April, 2017.
“In my view, we need to rename our state into South Ossetia – Alania, just like it is [in the case of] North Ossetia – Alania [referring to North Ossetia, one of Russia’s republics in North Caucasus], and after that, unite with North Ossetia within the Russian Federation as the state of Alania. But there are different opinions on the issue of renaming our republic, and we will take them into account,” Tibilov explained.
Tibilov first proposed to rename the region in December, 2015.
The breakaway republic’s leader was also planning to conduct the referendum on joining the Russian Federation in July 2016.
Tibilov announced on May 26 that Tskhinvali would postpone the referendum until after presidential elections.