The December 10 resignation of de-facto leader Eduard Kokoity has brought rest at last to the protest-riven breakaway region of South Ossetia. After a fortnight-long standoff, demonstrators left the central square in the capital, Tskhinvali, on December 12 as Alla Jioyeva, Kokoity’s would-be successor, reluctantly agreed to run in a third de-facto presidential vote, scheduled for next March.
Kokoity, who is accused of trying to install a Kremlin-favored candidate as his replacement and to steal Jioyeva's purported election victory, said on December 11 that he was stepping down to avoid bloodshed. The resignation, preceded by the dismissal of several key officials in Kokoity’s administration, came as part of a deal with the Jioyeva team, brokered by Russia.
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