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South Ossetian Presidential Election Declared Valid

Outgoing South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity takes part in a commemoration ceremony, marking the third anniversary of Georgia's war with Russia in Tskhinvali on August 7, 2011.
Election officials in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia have declared the second round of the presidential election valid after more than the required 30 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

As of 14:00 local time, 49.73 percent of the 32,700 eligible voters cast their ballots, according to the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Bella Plieva.

The two top candidates from the first round earlier this month -- Emergency Situations Minister Anatoly Bibilov and former Education Minister Alla Dijoyeva -- are competing. Moscow-backed candidate Bibilov is expected to win.

The first preliminary results are expected shortly after polling stations close at 20:00 local time this evening.

compiled from agency reports