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What an Abkhaz, an Ossetian and a Georgian take out of their wide trouser legs…2009-04-16 13:09
South Ossetia: with the parliament election drawing closer the passportization of people has been accelerated. Today on April 15 the issue of South Ossetian documents in Leninogory (Akhalgori) district was started. It might arouse certain tensions as it happened in Gali district of Abkhazia mostly populated by Georgians. However, hardly can passportization be considered "a violation of human rights" as Georgian authorities and some international monitors believe.
The parliamentary election in South Ossetia will be held on May 31. Yesterday the Central Election Commission stopped accepting applications of the republic's political parties. Now the lists of voters must be put in order. It is especially difficult to do in Leninogory district (the Ossetian authorities use this Soviet term while Georgians call it Akhalgori). This territory was transferred to the jurisdiction of South Ossetia only after the war in August 2008. As the media report, around 7 thousand Georgians live there having neither Russian, nor South Ossetian passports. However voting for a new parliament will be allowed with the South Ossetian IDs only and the republican authorities can no more postpone the issuance of documents in Akhalgori district.
The issuance starts today, on April 15. "Presently the mechanism of RSO passports issuance to the residents of the district is being worked out. Now the census is on in Leninogory district", - Sergey Kotaev, the head of passport and visa department told Res IA two days ago specifying that an ad hoc working group from Tskhinval will distribute the documents to the people.
Georgia commented on the news in a most surprising way. State Minister for reintegration Teymuraz Yakobashvili stated that RSO president Edward Kokoyty derived a personal profit from issuing passports. "I believe that distribution of passports in Akhalgori is first of all done to thicken Kokoyty's pocket, when later he will demand aid for existing and not-existing passports, pensions, salaries, rehabilitation funds", - Rosbalt quotes the minister.
Then the Georgian media thought it out developing the topic: "According to the information from the Georgian authorities 20 "Ossetian passports" will be issued for every ethnic Georgian and the Russian money appropriated for these documents will be spent on Kokoyty's armed groups".
Oppositional forces in South Ossetia share these rumors anticipating future election falsifications.