Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia is holding presidential elections on November 13.
Incumbent de facto President Eduard Kokoity is barred by the republic’s constitution from seeking a third term.
The head of South Ossetia’s Central Election Commission, Bella Pliyeva, said on November 12 that 11 candidates are now running in the election, after six candidates withdrew their bids.
Popular opposition figure Djambolat Tedeyev was refused registration because he has not lived in South Ossetia for the past 10 years.
Kokoity and his team support Alan Kotayev, first deputy mayor of Tskhinvali, the republic’s capital.
The main opposition candidate is former Education Minister Alla Djioyeva, who supports preserving the region’s quasi-independence and cracking down on corruption.
Moscow is backing South Ossetian Emergency Situations Minister Anatoly Bibilov. Bibilov vows to stop the embezzlement of funds that Russia has allocated for reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed during the August 2008 war with Georgia.
He supports South Ossetia’s eventual merger with North Ossetia as part of
the Russian Federation.