Alla Dzhioyeva, the opposition candidate whose victory in a runoff ballot in November for de facto president of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia was swiftly annulled by the republic's Supreme Court, was taken to a hospital after a raid by some 200 masked security personnel
on her headquarters in Tskhinvali.
Accounts of what happened, and of her condition, are contradictory. Dzhioyeva had planned to hold her inauguration on February 10, despite warnings from acting de facto President Vadim Brovtsev that doing so would constitute an attempt to seize power
The security personnel forced their way into Dzhioyeva's headquarters on February 9. Some eyewitnesses say they hit Dzhioyeva on the head
with a rifle butt and she lost consciousness. The South Ossetian Interior Ministry has issued a statement
denying this. Deputy prosecutor Georgy Kabulov said Dzhioyeva passed out when she realized the security personnel planned to take her to the prosecutor's office
Shortly before the security personnel forced their way into the building, Dzhioyeva reportedly had an argument by telephone with one of her former backers, Russian wrestling team trainer Dzhambolat Tedeyev, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade her
to call off her planned inauguration.
Medical personnel at the hospital in Tskhinvali said Dzhioyeva, who is 62, suffered a minor stroke, but had regained consciousness
. She has reportedly rejected an offer
to transport her to a hospital in Vladikavkaz, the capital of neighboring North Ossetia.
Dzhioyeva told the Russian daily "Kommersant
" on February 9 that nothing would stop her going ahead with her planned inauguration. Asked why she had not tried to register for the March 25 repeat presidential ballot, she said she would not be permitted to do so.
In fact, the agreement she signed in December with outgoing President Eduard Kokoity explicitly gives her the right
to participate. Nineteen candidates have applied to register for that election
. But according to a recent poll cited by "Kommersant
," only 48 percent of the electorate intend to cast ballots, which implies that those who voted for Dzhioyeva in last November's runoff intend to stay at home, having "already made their choice."