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‘United Ossetia’ Loses Seats, Keeps Tskhinvali Legislature Majority

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The United Ossetia, a clone of Russia’s ruling United Russia party will be the largest party in the Russian-held province of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia with 15 lawmakers in new “parliament.”

The party led by the incumbent South Ossetian leader, Anatoly Bibilov will officially have five lawmakers less than in the previous assembly.

However, three independent lawmakers Konstantin Kisiev, Sarmat Ikoev and Zaza Driaev have openly expressed their willingness to follow Bibilov’s “course” and support his United Ossetia party.

The local election administration released yesterday the final vote tally of June 9 “legislative elections.” It said a total of 23,351 voters showed up to elect the new configuration of the region’s 34-member legislative assembly, accounting for 66.24% rate of participation.

17 seats were contested through proportional, party list system and five parties crossed the required threshold. Seven lawmakers will take seats on behalf of the United Ossetia (Edinaya Ossetia); four from People’s Party (Narodnaya Partia); three from Nikhas; two from Unity of People (Edinstvo Naroda) and one from Communist party.

The remaining 17 seats will be filled from single-member districts with eight deputies from United Ossetia (Edinaya Ossetia); one each from Unity of People (Edinstvo Naroda), Nikhas and Communist party. The remaining six seats went to independents.

According to the Tskhinvali authorities, a total of 73 polling stations were opened. Four more polling stations functioned outside the region including two in the Russian province of North Ossetia-Alania, one in Moscow, and another one in Sokhumi.

Illegitimate polls

Elections in the region are denounced as illegitimate by the Government of Georgia and the international community, except of Russia and four other countries – Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru – which have recognized the region as an independent state.

In a statement released on June 9, Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned “parliamentary elections” in Tskhinvali as “illegal,” called on international community to give it “due assessment,” and urged Russian Federation to withdraw its military forces from Georgia’s territory.

“The above so-called elections represent yet another futile attempt by Russia and its occupation regime in Tskhinvali to legitimize the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, the illegal occupation and forceful change of sovereign borders of Georgia”, reads the statement.

United States, NATO, European Union and PACE have denounced Sunday’s polls as illegitimate. A number of other countries, including Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, and Ukraine do not also recognize elections in Georgia’s Russian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and reaffirm their support for Georgia.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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