The disqualified winner of the presidential election in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia says Russian leaders are unaware of the real situation in that Caucasus territory, RFE/RL’s Echo of the Caucasus Service reports.
Alla Dzhioyeva, a surprise winner of the vote count over a Kremlin-backed candidate in a November 27 election annulled by a South Ossetian court, told RFE/RL on December 9 that her call this week for “The Front To Support Vladimir Putin” in next year’s Russian presidential election was done with the intention to “unite people on both sides of the barricades.”
“I just wanted to show [to the Russian leadership] that our people — not those who can be easily directed, but those who can stand firmly and have the vision, the strategic goals — will always be united with Russia in its strategic goals,” Dzhioyeva said.
She added that Putin therefore “looks like a significant figure for us.”
Dzhioyeva added that she does not understand Russia’s reluctance to support her. She said it is more likely that the politicians and political advisers involved in South Ossetia are not giving complete and accurate information to the Kremlin regarding the situation in the region.
Dzhioyeva said that in a recent speech Russian President Dmitry Medvedev mentioned that problems between local clans should not be used in the political rivalry in South Ossetia.
“I fully reject those accusations [of Medvedev],” she said. “Certainly there is the clan for [outgoing South Ossetian President Eduard] Kokoity, but there is no clan of Dzhioyeva because I have always been above those narrow issues, I have always been cherishing democratic values, and I will always be longing for them.”
Dzhioyeva added that her rival Kokoity’s description of her supporters’ rallies as an “Orange Revolution” — a reference to the Western-oriented protests that defeated a flawed Ukrainian election in 2004 — is baseless. She said her supporters and the people of South Ossetia are doing their best to defend their constitutional right to have a choice.
“We have just one argument [that we are fighting for] and that is the people of South Ossetia,” Dzhioyeva said.
Dzhioyeva’s supporters have been rallying against the Supreme Court decision to invalidate the presidential election in which preliminary polls showed Dzhioyeva was winning.
Parliament later set a new date for a rerun presidential election and it barred Dzhioyeva from taking part. She rejected the decision as “political” and said she would set up her own parallel government.
South Ossetia broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s. Russia recognized it as an independent state following a brief war with Georgia in 2008, something that five other countries have also since done.
Most South Ossetians also have Russian citizenship.
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