South Ossetia and the Power of Love
A band of armed men invaded breakaway South Ossetia's tiny 34-seat parliament on June 15 to pressure lawmakers to allow de facto President Eduard Kokoity to run for a third term. The day before, the disputed territory's Supreme Court had struck down as unconstitutional a proposal to reelect Kokoity, whose de facto term of office ends this year.
After a long exchange with legislators (supposedly touching on "lawmaking practices and perspectives for the country's development," according to parliamentary spokesperson Inna Gabarayeva), the Kokoity fans finally left, but some news outlets described the incident as an attempt at a power grab. Several parliamentarians resigned in protest. Kokoity distanced himself from the group and called on prosecutors to investigate the incident. Calling on South Ossetians not to overdramatize the situation, he asked his supporters to stop twisting his arm about running for a third term.
“Such manifestations of popular love for the president and support for his course create tensions among various groups in our society and lead to destabilization of the situation,” Kokoity said in a statement. “There will be no third term.”