Breakaway South Ossetia has postponed a referendum on joining Russia until after presidential elections in the breakaway region next year.
The announcement was made on May 26 after the breakaway region’s leader Leonid Tibilov met speaker of parliament Anatoly Bibilov and representatives of the political parties – a framework called Political Council.
Holding of referendum on a constitutional change that would allow the South Ossetian leader to request Moscow region’s accession to Russia was initially planned for this summer. Breakaway region’s leader Leonid Tibilov first proposed holding of the referendum on such constitutional change in February.
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But some political parties, among them the Unity of People, were speaking out against holding of such referendum at least before the presidential elections, and some parties, among them the largest one in the breakaway region’s parliament United Ossetia, led by speaker Anatoly Bibilov, were calling for holding a referendum with a direct question on whether to join or not Russia.
“Pursuant to long-term interests of the people of South Ossetia and aspiring to secure stability of political situation in the Republic of South Ossetia, we are making a joint statement to support the decision of the Political Council… about the expedience of holding a referendum on joining the Russian Federation in 2017, after holding the presidential elections,” reads a joint statement by Tibilov and Bibilov, posted on a website of breakaway region’s leader.
Presidential elections are expected in the breakaway region in the spring of next year.