Category Archives: South Ossetia

South Ossetia – Re-run of presidential election

In December Alla Dzhioyeva claimed that she had been elected as president in South Ossetia. However, Anatoly Bibilov was proclaimed the winner. A deal was struck whereby the election would be re-run and Dzhioyeva would be allowed to stand again. This did not happen. In January she withdrew from the election. In February, the security services raided her office to take her into custody. She had to be hospitalized as a result.

In the end, the election was re-run at the weekend. Wikipedia has the results from the Election Commission website. Here are the figures:

Leonid Tibilov – 42.48%
David Sanakoyev – 24.58%
Dmitriy Medoyev – 23.79%
Stanislav Kochiev – 5.26%

So, there will be a second-round run-off between the top two candidates.

Georgia refuses to accept the legitimacy of the election.

South Ossetia – Political deal

In the end, I never finished the story of the South Ossetia presidential election crisis. Anyway, the Central Asia-Caucasus Analysis magazine has a nice report that outlines the outcome and provides some useful analysis of the situation.

Basically, the stand-off between President Kokoity and the de facto winner of the presidential election, Alla Dzhioyeva, has ended. They agreed a deal whereby the former would stand down and the de jure winner, Anatoly Bibilov, would not take up office. In return, Dzhioyeva would agree to end her protest against the election. In addition, she would be allowed to stand at the re-run of the election in March. Previously, the Constitutional Council had ruled that she was ineligible.

The deal seems to have been implemented. So, the next stage in the process is the re-run of the election.

South Ossetia – Constitutional questions

This post comes directly from RFE/RL. So, the details of the story can be found there.

Basically, there is impending constitutional limbo following the disputed South Ossetian election last week. The current president’s mandate ran out on 7 December. However, so far, no constitutional arrangement has been made to extend his term, given the official annulment of the recent presidential election. If the term is not extended, the power devolves to the PM who has been in dispute with the president for some time.

Meanwhile, the ‘winner’ of the election, Alla Dzhioyeva, has been barred from standing in the proposed re-run of the election next March. She is still threatening to go ahead with an ‘inauguration’ in the next few days, but there are some signs that she may back down.

South Ossetia – Presidential election 2nd round

The second round of the presidential election in South Ossetia was held on Sunday. The result has worsened the political situation there.

It seems as if Alla Dzhioeva ‘won’ the election fairly clearly ahead of Anatoly Bibilov, the preferred candidate of incumbent President Kokoity. However, Bibilov’s party challenged the result. The Supreme Court upheld the challenge and has called for new elections on 25 March.

Now, the Washington Post is reporting that Dzhioeva’s supporters are gathering in the capital and that she has declared herself president and will try to form a government.

South Ossetia – Presidential election

A legislative election was held in the South Ossetia on Sunday 31 May.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Ossetia is semi-presidential (see previous post). The constitution is available in Russian here.

On Sunday, the presidential election was held. The incumbent, pro-Russian, president, Eduard Kokoity is term-limited. Therefore, there was a vote for a new president.

The South Ossetia Election Commission is giving some details of the vote in Russian. Apparently, turnout was 67.05%. The top two candidates were:

Anatoly Bibilov – 25.44%
Alla Dzhioeva – 25.37%

Anatoly Bibilov is currently the Minister for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Management and is reputed to be Russian-leaning. Alla Dzhioeva is a former minister. According to RTE/RL she is the main opposition candidate and “supports preserving the region’s quasi-independence and cracking down on corruption”. President Kokoity’s preferred candidate does not seem to have qualified for the second round.

The second round will be held in two weeks.

Republic of South Ossetia – Legislative election

A legislative election was held in the Republic of South Ossetia on Sunday 31 May.

The Republic of South Ossetia is recognised by only a few countries, notably Russia. There have been elections since the mid-1990s. The last legislative elections were in 2004. Then, there were two elections: one in the Russian area and one in the Georgian area. There is a report on the 2004 election in the Russian area here. This time, following the war in 2008, there is, in effect, no Georgian area.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Ossetia is semi-presidential (see previous post). The constitution is available in Russian here. The de facto president is Eduard Kokoity. He was first elected in 2001. The last presidential election was in November 2006. At that time, there was also a presidential election in the Georgia part of South Ossetia.

RFE/RL reports allegations of authoritarianism and electoral malpractice prior to the 2009 legislative election. A similar report appears in Georgia Times.

The Central Election Commission of Georgia issued a statement on 11 May that it would not recognise the elections.

Anyway, four parties competed in the 2009 legislative election: “Edinstvo” or “Unity”, the Communist Party, the People’s Party and Fydybasta (Fatherland). There are 34 seats in the legislature elected on the basis of a proportional system with a 7% threshold for representation.

According to Civil.Ge, only Fydybasta (Fatherland) is seen as being in constructive opposition to President Kokoity. Other opposition parties reportedly boycotted the election.

As of 10.44 PM local time on Sunday, the Republic of South Ossetia Information Agency was publishing the following results:

Turnout 81.93%

Communist party – 22.25 %,
Edinstvo “Unity” – 46.38 %,
Fydybasta (Fatherland) – 6.37 %,
People’s Party – 22.58 %

SP in disputed areas and other territories (8) – South Ossetia

For once, this is a fairly timely post. Yesterday the Russian parliament passed a resolution asking President Medvedev to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. So, I thought that I would post about the constitutional situation both areas.

Obviously, both are officially part of Georgia. However, as events in the past weeks have reminded us, both have had more than a certain degree of de facto independence. Specifically, both have their own constitutions.

The most recent constitution of Abkhazia was adopted in 1994. It establishes a presidential system. There is a prime minister, but there is only individual ministerial responsibility (Art. 58).

As far as I understand it, South Ossetia adopted its first constitution in 1993. Robert M. Cutler in an online article gives further information. He states: “On 8 April 2001, South Ossetia held a referendum on proposed changes to its constitution that were intended to increase presidential power. Voter turnout was roughly two-thirds, of whom two-thirds again approved the changes. Because the referendum was held by the ‘Republic of South Ossetia’ on its own initiative without central Georgian participation, the EU and the OSCE condemned it, declaring it illegal and void”.

As far as I can tell, there is a constitution online (in Russian) that dates back to 1996. However, there is also another constitution (also in Russian) that seems current. So, I assume that it includes the more recent changes. I can let anyone who is interested have the PDF version that I have found. I would like to thank a colleague for translating the necessary details for me.

There are similarities between the South Ossetia constitution and the Russian constitution. The president is popularly elected (Art. 7), heads the exec, guides foreign and domestic policy (Art. 47), and appoints the PM subject to parliamentary approval (Art. 50). The government resigns after presidential elections (Art. 75) and if parliament votes no confidence in the government, the president can ignore the vote the first time but must dismiss the government after a second such vote (if the votes are taken within the space of 2 months) (Art. 76).