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Georgia's South Ossetia: One Unrecognized State, Two Unrecognized Governments

Two separate presidential elections and two separate referenda on the future of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia were held on November 12, but the outcome depends on your point of view. No agreement exists about which candidate is now the legitimate leader of this separatist territory.

In one vote, Eduard Kokoiti, the de facto president of the self-declared Republic of South Ossetia since 2001, has been declared the winner with a sweeping 95 percent of the vote, based on preliminary results. In a so-called "alternative" poll organized on Georgian-controlled territory in South Ossetia, Dmitri Sanakoyev -- a former prime minister of the de facto South Ossetian republic who Tskhinvali officials claim is bankrolled by Tbilisi -- has been declared the president-elect, with more than 80 percent of the vote.

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Molly Corso is a freelance reporter and photojournalist based in Tbilisi. Elizabeth Owen is EurasiaNet’s Caucasus news editor in Tbilisi. Kakha Jibladze contributed reporting to this story.

Georgia's South Ossetia: One Unrecognized State, Two Unrecognized Governments

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