A South Ossetian opposition leader calls for the other candidates to not take part in a rescheduled election March 25, calling it illegal, and instead recognize her as the legitimate head of government.
Several candidates have registered with the Central Election Commission
for the election, which is a repeat election for president after South Ossetia's Supreme Court cancelled the last one in November.
Early results indicated a clear victory for Alla Jioeva, who is considered an opposition figure, and the first woman to make a run for the position as de facto leader of the tiny Georgian breakaway region.
She did well in the first round and in the run-off was up against Anatoly Bibilov, the assumed Kremlin favorite, though some hold a different view, and the political landscape is complex and strongly bound up with local bonds of loyalty, by family and clans. Another candidate, Dzambulat Tedeev, seemed to gather more opposition support than Jioeva, but the regime of Eduard Kokoity barred him from registering as a candidate. Jioeva, though seen as oppositional, has vowed loyalty to Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.
The run-off showed a clear win for Jioeva, but after a complaint about irregularities, the region's Supreme Court annulled the results and scheduled a new eletion in March. Jioeva and her supporters refused to accept the ruling and launched a protest campaign, during which there were several violent incidents between opposition and authorities.
In mid December de facto leader Eduard Kokoity proposed a compromise deal, which would allow Jioeva to run in the March election, despite the civil disobedience until then, and her planned inauguration.
The region calmed down, but over the holidays, Jioeva resurrected her campaign because the de facto leadership had not come through on promises made back in December to dismiss three top officials. The elected assembly had refused to dismiss two of the officials.
Now Jioeva plans to hold her inauguration on Friday, and is asking those candidates who have registered that if they consider themselves to be law abiding and honest people, they must accept her as their president.
The appeal stresses that the opposition leader faces strong pressure and threats from opponents of high-ranking law and order,Russian media reports.
“The opposition leader also warned about the criminal responsibility of those who attempt to use violence against its supporters during the planned inauguration events,” Ria Novosti reports.