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Political Crisis Persists in Tskhinvali, Moscow Says ‘Follow Constitution’

In the latest events of a political crisis in occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, boycotting lawmakers and ‘prosecutor general’ Uruzmag Jagaev came at odds again, after the latter on February 18 addressed leader Anatoly Bibilov and speaker Alan Tadtaev, arguing that the legislative work suspension by the boycotting lawmakers is “anti-constitutional.”

Jagaev said the suspension “poses a threat to [the region’s] sovereignty, territorial integrity, and exercise of the constitutional powers.” He also suggested that, instead of the required 2/3, a majority of the votes (18 out of 34 ) shall be considered sufficient to adopt any legislation, besides “constitutional amendments.”

With the statement, Jagaev also endorsed the recent long-delayed approval of the region’s 2021 budget with a simple majority, thanks to a legal loophole, despite the absence of a 2/3 quorum.

Opposition lawmakers in Tskhinvali suspended their mandates in September 2020, following Anatoly Bibilov’s refusal to dismiss Jagaev over his alleged involvement in the controversial death of young inmate Inal Jabiev, which sparked large-scale protests in the region.

In their turn, the boycotting lawmakers (14 MPs continue boycott from initial 17 in September), responded Jagaev on February 19, arguing that the “prosecutor’s office” is not entitled to assess whether the legislative body’s rules and procedures are constitutional.

They said, “in this ‘analysis’ the prosecutor’s office is trying to substitute other state bodies, exceeding the powers established by law.”

Boycotting lawmakers appeal Moscow

Earlier this month, the boycotting lawmakers addressed Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, suggesting that the relations between Moscow and Tskhinvali “do not have a legal force,” since the acting government’s term expired on October 29, 2020.

From the Russian Government Deputy Russian Economy Minister Sergey Nazarov responded to the S. Ossetian ‘MPs’ on February 18. He said Moscow is concerned with the political crisis in Tskhinvali, which resulted in the “dysfunction of the institutions” and “significant complications” of cooperation between Russia and the occupied region.

“Resolving the emerged differences will only be possible if each branch of the government clearly follows its competence, as envisaged by the constitution and the legislature,” he added.

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

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