Friday, November 28, 2014


Caucasus Report

Will 'Decent Guys' Again Outnumber Competent Lawmakers in New South Ossetian Parliament?

Following an election campaign that seems to have been conducted fairly and openly, South Ossetians will go to the polls to elect a new parliament on June 8. (file photo)
Following an election campaign that seems to have been conducted fairly and openly, South Ossetians will go to the polls to elect a new parliament on June 8. (file photo)
The estimated 42,000 voters in Georgia's breakaway Republic of South Ossetia will go to the polls on June 8 to elect a new parliament.

The ballot, in which some 200 candidates from nine political parties will compete for 34 mandates allocated according to the proportional (party list) system, represents a further step in repudiating and dismantling the corrupt and authoritarian system that flourished under the region's former de facto president, Eduard Kokoity.
 
At the same time, it is difficult to predict with any certainty which and how many parties will garner the minimum 7 percent of the vote required to qualify for parliamentary representation.
 
Several observers have predicted, as have Fydybasta party chairman Vyacheslav Gobozov and People's Party head Aleksandr Pliyev, that disenchantment with and distrust of the current leadership headed by de facto President Leonid Tibilov will be reflected in low voter participation. In 2009, turnout was 81.93 percent.
 
Tibilov, elected in the second round of a repeat ballot in April 2012, is struggling to deliver on promises to complete the reconstruction of homes and infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the August 2008 Georgia-Russia war and kick start the region's stagnating economy. But as the newspaper "Respublika" noted in an editorial pegged to the second anniversary of Tibilov's inauguration, his achievements to date include promoting political liberalization and media freedom and supporting a burgeoning civil society.
 
Tibilov's election as de facto president served as the catalyst for the creation of a plethora of new political parties and groups, three of them headed by former presidential candidates to whom Tibilov had offered posts in the new government of national unity. Yedinaya Osetiya is headed by Emergency Situations Minister Anatoly Bibilov and New Ossetia by de facto Foreign Minister David Sanakoyev, whom Tibilov defeated in the second round runoff. The third, Freedom Square, did not apply to participate after a bid to field a joint list of candidates with Vladimir Kelekhsayev's Unity of the People party failed. Freedom Square's future appears in doubt following the resignation in April due to ill health of its founder and chairwoman, Alla Djioyeva.
 
The parties Alans and A Just Ossetia both decided against participating in the election due to their leaders' shared conviction that the results would be rigged. Fidan was denied registration because its formal application was submitted three minutes after the legal deadline.
 
A Unique Contest
 

Observers agree that the upcoming election is unique, for several reasons.
 
The first is the unprecedentedly high number of parties participating. Of the 14 parties that applied, nine succeeded in registering: Unity; Yedinaya Osetiya; New Ossetia; Fydybasta; the Communist Party; the People's Party; Unity of the People;  Nykhas; and Rodina. By contrast, in 2009, only four parties were registered: the pro-Kokoity Unity; the People's Party wing headed by Kazimir Pliyev, the Communist Party; and Fydybasta.  Only the first three succeeded in surmounting the minimum 7 percent hurdle.
 
Second is the fact that Tibilov is not backing any party.
 
And third, the fairness and openness of the election campaign, which began on May 21, and the absence of major violations of the electoral law.
 
True, individual candidates including Gobozov were initially denied registration due to their apparent failure to comply with the minimum five-year residency requirement, but most were reinstated after appealing to the Supreme Court.
 
But there were no major scandals comparable with the hijack of the opposition People's Party in April 2009 by Kokoity's close cronies, after which a group of pro-Kokoity candidates was registered for the ballot while the core party headed by Roland Kelekhsayev was barred.
 
There are broad similarities between the parties' electoral programs, due to the need to address the formidable political, economic and geopolitical problems the region faces.

 
x
With minor differences in focus, almost all advocate constitutional amendments in order to bring about a redistribution of powers between the president, the government and the parliament; a system of checks and balances to make ministers more accountable; and encouraging investment and providing support for small and medium-sized businesses, especially those engaged in agriculture and food processing.
 
The one key issue on which views diverge is that of relations with the Russian Federation, which formally recognized South Ossetia as an independent state in the wake of the August 2008 war and on which it is largely dependent for financial aid. While Fydybasta and Rodina place the emphasis on working to secure broader recognition by the international community of South Ossetia's independence, Bibilov's Unity made headlines earlier this year by calling on Tibilov to schedule a referendum on the unification of South and North Ossetia within the Russian Federation.
 
No 'Big Idea'

 
Several local analysts have expressed concern that the election programs of the nine parties are either too broadly similar, or lack any explanation of how the various reforms they advocate should be implemented.
 
Russian analyst Yevgeny Krutikov has suggested that due to this lack of a new, inspirational "big idea," voters will instead be guided primarily by the personal qualities of individual candidates and cast their vote for party that fields the largest number of persons they consider  to be "decent guys."
 
Tibilov sees the same danger: as he observed in a recent interview, "being a decent guy isn't a profession."  He added that as a result of "incompetence, overdue haste and disregard for the scientific norms of law-making," a majority of the laws passed have proven mutually contradictory.
 
Gobozov, for his part, described the performance of the parliaments elected in 2004 and 2009 as "an example of how a parliament should not function."
 
According to Central Election Commission chairwoman Bella Pliyeva, more than 50 international observers will monitor the vote, including some from France, Greece, Israel, and the United States. None of those countries recognize South Ossetia as independent.
 
-- Liz Fuller
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mamuka
June 06, 2014 19:34
Will the "decent guys" be assisted by "polite people?" And by the way, they must let everybody in South Ossetia vote, including kids, if they think there are going to be 42,000 voters. In fact they'll need to have some people vote twice.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 10, 2014 21:03
Horrible, Mamuka, people voting twice in this self-proclaimed entity... I think it's about time Mischa would come back and show us how to resotre law and order in S. Ossetia - the way he did back in 2008 :-)).
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 19, 2014 08:30
Some in North and South "Ossetia" must remember USSR
competition of youngsters "Sambo" in Stalingrad, about 45 years ago - Russian Nazi occupiers from Kishinev were turning against each-other North Ossetia and South Ossetia teams
and calling South Ossetia young men traitors, as living in Georgia and intermarrying there...

"WHERE WE CAME FROM,
WHO WE ARE AND WHERE WE GO?"
___________________________________________
World is lead to Global WW3 and doesn't know it urges.
One doesn't need a modern computer's software to see
How traditional policies and war of good and evil emerge
Through Human history, specially since betray of 1947-53.

As creators and gardeners won WW2 and started to rebuild
The ruined World, old remnant of empires and old race wars
Were emerging again, along with humanitarian help of Guild,
Testing Bombs, along with reviving, Russia grabbed as "vor".

Russia offered to British and USA plagiarize, even children,
Reversed return to Common Wealth the temporary USSR,
Started influx by ethnic Russians Eastern Europe to gain,
Territories to breed, betrayed treaty, provoked Cold War.

Since 1954-56 textbooks and history books were burned,
By Russia luring Brits and "Bechtel" to resurrect empires.
New history of origins of races forged to fit imperial gloat,
Battalions of death, "Vostok", "Zapad" and "Bagramyan".

Millions years, Human evolutions under Angels and God,
Turned to be African "mother Neanderthal", by Emperors
To resurrect the rest of Humanity as uniformly "serfdom",
Breeding and fighting until Empire win in "religious wars".

The truth isn't important anymore, many like me silenced,
In 2012 they blackmailed, bestially murdering my mother,
Infected my leg with "Bulgarian pin", and it is still blacked.
I am fighting alone, while the evil wave of times still rising.

Media and press controlled by same forces, here on RFE,
Manipulated by guys like Eugenio, essential world events
Has no access for me to prevent emerging evils - till KGB,
Brits, Helena, CIA and alike establish not reversible ends.
It is how Russia and other imperial resurrection are to be.

They all sitting around my apartment, steal-pervert words,
Usurp, plagiarize and use in propaganda to super-side us.
I tried to prevent massacre in Iraq - they stole my advises,
Move on a left flank French, later 200,000 anywhere killed.

USA media and press controlled by Russians with empires
That be resurrected covering for them, they screamed "oil",
14%, lied too much about A-bomb and bacteriologic threat,
They told Shvarzkov kill millions, like Russia in Afghan war.

They also misguided USA into "Superpower image" stands,
Hate one forged as enemy, even if one is down like Sunnis,
Make deals with Chaldeans - antagonize Sunnis to the end,
Instead of creating Autonomy's self rule and equal shearing.

The same happening in Afghanistan and many other places,
Like in Ukraine Russia divide-rule, even Ukraine is for peace.
One have be careful not fall for it, they just call them "rebels",
It is Global game resurrect empires and dupe and zero USA,
So it wouldn't anymore defend World's gardens against rats.

It truth come out, they hypnotize one say, like the Ukrainian
That called Putin "Khuilo" and "imperial resurrection", again,
Get upper hand, conquer Ukraine, as they used Saakashvili,
Like "eating a tie" can out-weight life of a nation, evil to gain,
As they make me sometime use rude word, to vanish truth...
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 12, 2014 10:15
Mamuka, did you forget that South Ossetia is Georgian land?
Ossetins were invited by Georgian Kings since 5 Century AD
to serve in Georgian army and allowed settle on the windy hill
at the South Entry to the Darial gorge, surrounded by Georgian
villages, they intermarried with Georgians and were Christians.
In time Tchinvali emerged on the hill.
When CIS and later temporary USSR was created, they were given cultural Autonomy - to advance their culture and equal rights, but it was never given right to annex territory!
Russia is evil, it lies any way they would, to expand, breed in other people's land, cleanse and vanish nations.
They care not about Ossetians, as they didn't in Beslan,
GRU-Spetcnaz playing "terrorists" and murdering children,
kidnapping some to put bombs around them and blow by remote control - all over the World where Russian provocateurs do evil.
____________________________________________
Even if all Georgia's South Ossetians and refugees from Georgian villages would vote - it cannot have bearing on
the fact that Shida Kartli is Georgia!
___________________________________________
Do not go to argument with Russian Nazi invaders and
GRU-Spetcnaz propaganda mouth on that!

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.