Three candidates will run in the South Ossetian presidential polls scheduled for April 9, the local election administration reported.
Among them are incumbent leader of the breakaway region, Leonid Tibilov; Parliamentary Chairman Anatoly Bibilov and State Security Committee officer Alan Gagloev.
On March 14, the breakaway region’s Supreme Court rejected former South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity’s challenge against the local election administration, which earlier turned down Kokoity’s application to run.
Kokoity held series of protest rallies before and after the Supreme Court decision, accusing the breakaway region’s government of acting under the guidance of “external forces,” referring to the recent visit of Vladislav Surkov, Russian President’s aide overseeing Moscow’s relations with breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“We support Russia; we support Putin and we will not allow offcomers, like Surkov to discredit Putin in Donetsk, Lugansk and especially in South Ossetia,” Kokoity told his supporters in Tskhinvali.
“We are the masters at home, but it appears that Surkov, Filatov and similar govoruns [Oleg Govorun, Kremlin official, who heads the unit for social and economic cooperation with the CIS-member countries, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Also a pun on his last name “talker”] think otherwise. They think that we are the tenants and they are the owners of this house as they arrive and tell us who will run in the elections and who will not,” Kokoity said.
The region’s election administration rejected the presidential bids of two more applicants: Alan Kozonov and Amiran Bagaev, citing problems with voter signatures required for registration.
Simultaneously with presidential polls, Tskhinvali will also hold a referendum on renaming the region to “the South Ossetia – the State of Alania.”
Elections in the region are denounced as illegitimate by Tbilisi and the international community, except of Russia and three other countries (Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru), which have recognized the region as an independent state.