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Polls Open In South Ossetian Presidential Elections

Some 35,000 people are eligible to cast ballots in the South Ossetian presidential poll.
Polling stations have opened in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia for a second round of presidential elections.

The two candidates who received the most votes in the March 25 first round are competing -- former head of South Ossetia's KGB Leonid Tibilov and human rights commissioner David Sanakoev.

The election on April 8 comes amid controversy after a presidential election last November was won by opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva, but quickly ruled invalid by the region's Supreme Court with a subsequent ruling barring Dzhioyeva from competing for the presidency.

Some 35,000 people are eligible to cast ballots in the poll, which will be declared valid once more than 30 percent of eligible voters have taken part.

South Ossetia separated from Georgia after the brief Georgian-Russian war in August 2008.

Only Russia and a handful of other countries have recognized South Ossetia's declaration of independence.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and IFX Rus