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Protests Erupt in South Ossetia as Former President Blocked from Running Again

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his de facto South Ossetian counterpart Leonid Tibilov in the Kremlin on March 21. (photo: kremlin.ru)

Upcoming elections for the presidency of South Ossetia have been thrown into turmoil after the de facto authorities refused to register former president Eduard Kokoity and his supporters took to the streets to protest.

South Ossetia's Central Election Commission on March 4 said that they would not allow Kokoity to run in the April 9 elections, on the grounds that he fails to satisfy the ten-year residency requirement. He has been living in Russia since leaving office in 2011. The vote will pick a new leader of South Ossetia, which considers itself an independent country, but is recognized as part of Georgia by Tbilisi and most of the rest of the world (with the conspicuous exception of Moscow).

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Protests Erupt in South Ossetia as Former President Blocked from Running Again

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