S.Ossetian president: no clampdown on opposition

President Eduard Kokoity of the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia said on Friday there would be no crackdown on opposition rallies led by former presidential candidate Alla Dzhioyeva.

Dzhioyeva’s supporters are protesting on the central square of the capital Tskhinvali against the Supreme Court’s ruling to annul the runoff results, which gave a preliminarily victory to Dzhioyeva on November 27.

“We are keeping our word, there are and there will not be any repressive measures,” Kokoity said at a ten-minute meeting with 10 former presidential candidates, which Dzhioyeva didn’t attend.

“I want to thank opposition candidates who keep their promises and take part in the dialogue,” said pro-Russian leader Kokoity who has been in power since 2001.

Dzhioyeva has filed an appeal against the republic’s Supreme Court decision to cancel the runoff results. Her supporters said earlier on Friday that they would collect signatures and call for the parliament’s resignation unless their demands are met. They also promised to gather about 10,000 people from throughout the republic in their support.

The situation in South Ossetia has been particularly volatile since the five-day war of 2008 between the Georgian military, and Russian and South Ossetian forces.

Meanwhile, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported that officials at the Russian-South Ossetian border checkpoint blocked the road toward Tskhinvali “due to avalanche” and began turning back all who were attempting to cross. He also reported he saw an army vehicle carrying a column of Russian border guards armed with Kalashnikovs driving in the direction of the South Ossetian border. Officials expressed uncertainty about how long the road would remain closed.


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