The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality of Georgia stated that the Georgian Government, together with the international community, does not recognise the legitimacy of the so-called elections in South Ossetia. The US Embassy and EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell both released statements today stating that they don’t recognise the so-called April 10 presidential elections and their outcomes.
Georgia: “The Georgian Government and the international community do not recognise the “presidential elections” held in the Tskhinvali region as well as the legitimacy of their outcomes. This goes against the fundamental principles of international law and is yet another gross breach of Georgia’s sovereignty and internationally recognised borders. In the context of the present occupation and measures towards de facto annexation, as well as numerous waves of ethnic cleansing of the local population, it doesn’t represent the will of the individuals and, thus, has no legal grounds”, said the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality in a statement.
European Union: “We persist in supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and pursue a policy of non-recognition and involvement, including through the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Georgian Crisis and the EU Monitoring Mission”, said Carl Hartzell.
USA: “Our stance on Abkhazia and South Ossetia is clear: they are essential parts of Georgia. Neither the ‘elections’ nor the a priori illegal ‘referendum’ calling for South Ossetia accession to Russia will be able to change this”, said the US embassy in a statement.
In South Ossetia, a de facto president is being elected. There are five candidates running for the position:
- Anatoly Bibilov, the current president and leader of United Ossetia;
- Alan Gagloev, the Nykhas party’s leader;
- Former deputy Dmitry Tasoev;
- Deputy Gary Muldarov;
- Alexander Pliev, Deputy Chairman of the Parliament.
Furthermore, all candidates are in favour of joining South Ossetia in Russia. Polling booths were also opened in Moscow, Vladikavkaz and Sukhumi.
There are a total of 32,000 voters in South Ossetia. Elections are deemed genuine if 50 of the voters turn up.
For a five-year tenure, the de facto president is elected. Shortly after the presidential elections in South Ossetia, the people will be asked if they want to join Russia in a referendum.