They voted for the independence of South Ossetia01.06.2009 | 16:39
There were not so many people at the election district in Moscow as it had been expected. But those were the people who feel genuine concern about the future of the South-Ossetian republic. The answer to the question "Whom did you vote for?" was almost always the same: for independence and freedom.
The South Ossetians were unwilling to leave after casting a ballot paper into the voting box in Moscow, in Donskaya street; they stood in the shadow of lime trees, talking and waiting for their acquaintances.
The women that have just left the building were holding large white folders depicting the map of their native republic. This was a present to each voter in Moscow. The folder contained a calendar and a collection of pictures representing the landscapes of South Ossetia. The Ossetian women said they could hang them on the wall at home as pictures.
"Of course, we have not come here for that; we had no idea of a surprise they have prepared for us", - they chuckle.
When asked "Whom did you vote for?" they all answered practically the same: "For Ossetia, for free election and for our people's free will expression".
Nala, who has come from Tskhinval to Moscow almost 25 years ago, has got lightened hair, which is almost white. In response to my remark that she does not resemble an Ossetian the woman said: "And what about my eyes? Look, many Ossetians are fair-haired and fair-eyed". I looked around and noticed that almost everyone had got green eyes. "You mentioned my hair - well, I grew absolutely white within those several days in August", - Nala goes on. She has got parents and relatives in Tskhinval and she still cannot make it out how one can bomb a peacefully sleeping city.
"We managed to stand out in this terrible war and we want the whole world to realize that our independence has not just been granted to us but that we have earned it. For many years, my people have been fighting for the right to freely express their choice at the election. Not by meetings or by stand-up fights as our Georgian neighbours are doing but in a civilized way, when one may come to the election district and express his opinion. I believe the fifth Parliament of the Republic of South Ossetia will keep going the tradition of parliamentary work. I wish them to manage everything. But the main thing is that we have stood out. And now it is time to live on, to build a new young state, a unique, wonderful, Christian state. That is it", - Nala says with certainty.
I tried to find out for which of the parties Nala and her friend cast their votes. For Unity, they said. The point is not particularly in the party program, which does not seem to significantly differ from the other ones. It turns out that the voters know the people on the list personally and put much trust in them. South Ossetia is a small republic, so any actions, steps or statements of the well-known people instantly become public.
As to the opposition, the attempts to tar the ruling party are not treated seriously by the Ossetians in Moscow. The main accusation addressed at the president and his associates comes down to very slow rates of the republic restoration. "Neither Eduard Kokoity, nor Unity are to blame for that; it was just that the money did not get to Moscow at once", - an Ossetian student is specifying. He is standing surrounded by three shy Ossetian girls. All of them are studying in Moscow to become lawyers, journalists, engineers, PR experts... Every summer they go back to their parents, hoping to finally return to Tskhinval with diplomas to take part in the establishment of their Homeland. The student says he voted for Unity but some of his acquaintances are the supporters of the communists and the People's party. He did not mention Phydybasta.
Nala believes all the oppositional speeches to be a pre-planned action aimed at discrediting the republic's leaders: "They did not manage to destroy us directly and now they decided to do it via informational wars". According to her, "there are unique traditions of democracy in South Ossetia", so if anyone wants to express his disagreement he may do it without any problem in public. "This does not mean holding meetings in Russia, America or Georgia. It means one has to come to Ossetia because the people live there. Otherwise, it looks like "it's been arranged over my head", doesn't it? This is ridiculous", - she says, meaning the appearance of Vyacheslav Gobozov, leader of Phydybasta, who has been living in North Ossetia for the last several years, and Roland Kelekhsaev, who has been suspended from the People's Party leadership and who never turned up in Tskhinval during the electoral campaign.
GeorgiaTimes' third interlocutor is Kromvel Biazarti, who thinks that there are no fully-independent parties within the whole post-Soviet territory so far. They are undergoing the process of establishment and practically do not differ from each other. "All of the parties proclaimed independence, so I voted for independence, no matter which one of the parties", - Biazarti underlined. He was born and grew up in Tskhinval. "I voted for the Ossetian nationality. I want everything that I saw within the four years (and I have gone through all the four wars, last year I left five days before the war started and I was there, I left in two weeks then) never to repeat", - he stresses.