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Elections as a demonstration of independence2009-03-17 21:03
A decree on the holding of parliamentary elections in South Ossetia has been signed. Four political parties are getting ready to campaign. Tskhinvali is hoping that democratic elections will show the whole world that South Ossetia is worthy of being called an independent state.
The scale of the upcoming elections in South Ossetia might raise a smile. The country has a population of about 50,000 people, which is comparable with a small Russian regional centre. But for the young republic, the presence of its own parliament is a matter of principle.
The Ossetians, who are defending their right to international recognition, emphasize that since 1992 South Ossetia has existed as a de-facto independent country. According to Dr. Ruslan Bzarov, who is quoted by the State Committee for the press and news, the Republic of South Ossetia meets the criteria for an independent state denoted in the Montevideo Convention and other international agreements: a permanent population, defined territory, an effective government... Furthermore, South Ossetia is a democratic country, as the president and parliament are elected by a popular vote.
Elections to the Supreme Council of the Republic of South Ossetia took place for the first time at the end of 1990. In December 1996 the Supreme Council was renamed the parliament of South Ossetia.
The fourth parliament contains single-mandate deputies, as well as deputies from three parties - Unity, the Communist Party and the People's Party. The last elections in 2004 ended in scandal. The Central Election Committee refused to register the People's Party and Fatherland (Fydybasta), which was previously represented in parliament, because they had not met some formalities. Their leaders contested their right to participate in the republic's Supreme Court. The People's Party were successful, but Fatherland was not, and the organization soon lost any signs of life.
The revival of Fatherland fell in 2007. It was officially registered as the Socialist Party "Fydybasta", and its chairman was the political commentator and editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Ossetian pulse", Vyacheslav Gobozov. To follow the principle of "tell me who your friend is, and I'll say who you are", then the concept behind "Fydybasta" is close to "A Just Russia", with which the party has close contacts.
"Unity" was created in the image of United Russia. The chairman of the South Ossetian party of power, Zurab Kokoev, helped United Russia to garner 92 percent of the votes in South Ossetia for the elections to the Russian State Duma.