elections underway in South Ossetia
May 24, 2004
Parliamentary elections are being held in
Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia.
Seventy five polling stations have been opened
in the republic, the Central Elections Commission told
Interfax. Three parties - Unity, the People's Party, and the
Communist Party are running under the proportional voting
system. In total, 34 deputies are to be elected to the
parliament. Four seats have been reserved for ethnic
The situation is normal in South Ossetia and
voting is being monitored by representatives of Moscow,
Transdnestria and Abkhazia. Ethnic Georgians are taking part
in the voting, the commission said.
Georgian State Minister Georgy Khaindrava told
Interfax on Sunday that "elections in Tskhinvali cannot
be considered legitimate since they are not recognized by
Tbilisi or in the rest of the world."
"Unfortunately, individual political
groups in Russia support the separatist regimes in Tskhinvali
and Sukhumi, which can be judged from State Duma Deputy
Konstantin Zatulin's arrival in Tskhinvali and Krasnodar
Governor Alexander Tkachev's arrival in Sukhumi,"
He added that these politicians are not
expressing the Russian authorities' official policy concerning
the conflict zones in Georgia.
"However, these self-assumed missions are
hampering efforts to settle the conflicts and establish normal
Russian-Georgian relations," the minister said.
He said that ethnic Georgians who live in
South Ossetia are not taking part in the elections.
Talks with the South Ossetian leaders on the
settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict will be
continued, Khaindrava said.