South Ossetian president blames Georgian special services for election turmoil

RIA Novosti / Mikhail Mokrushin
The incumbent president of South Ossetia has said he has information proving that Georgian special services sponsored the unrest that followed the recent presidential elections in the republic.

­“It is already known and proved that the ‘orange revolution’ in South Ossetia is sponsored by Georgian special services,” the Interfax news agency quoted Eduard Kokoity as saying. “Being the president of South Ossetia, I guarantee that the decisions of the republic’s Supreme Court will be carried out. All those who form illegal groups and call for bloodshed will be brought to justice,” Kokoity said.

However the president offered assurances that ordinary people holding rallies on the streets would not face prosecution.

South Ossetia currently faces an acute political crisis. After a second round of presidential elections held on November 27, one of the two candidates – Anatoly Bibilov – complained to the Supreme Court about alleged violations committed by the team of his rival, Alla Dzhioyeva.  As a result, a court ruled to annul the elections and ban Dzhioyeva from taking part in a new poll scheduled for March 25. Dzhioyeva, who was set to win the elections, refused to comply with the court decision, declared herself president-elect and submitted a complaint of her own to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn its ruling.

Thousands of Dzhioyeva’s supporters held rallies in the center of South Ossetia’s capital, Tskhinval, while Bibilov said he was not taking his party onto the streets to avoid open confrontation.

On Tuesday, the court turned down Dzhioyeva’s complaint and earlier in the day the candidate herself said that she was retracting it as she did not believe that the court had treated her fairly.

Dzhioyeva also said events in her country were the work of a junta and stated her intention to ask for political asylum abroad, though she did not reveal where.