Voters in South Ossetia have cast out the territory’s incumbent de facto president who was a clear favorite of Moscow. However, in spite of the rejection of the political status quo, South Ossetians remain committed to close ties with Russia.
In elections on April 9, parliamentary speaker Anatoly Bibilov won nearly 58 percent of the vote to become South Ossetia’s new de facto president, defeating the incumbent, Leonid Tibilov, who received less than a third of the ballots cast.
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Irina Kelekhsayeva is a freelance journalist based in Tskhinvali. Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at EurasiaNet, and author of The Bug Pit. He is based in Istanbul.