The election in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region to choose a separatist president looks to be heading for a second round.
Officials said former KGB official Leonid Tibilov got 42 percent of the vote on March 25 -- not enough to win in the first round.
Tibilov will face the second-place finisher, separatist human rights official David Sanakoyev, in the April 8 runoff.
Sanakoyev got 25 percent in first round.
It is the second recent attempt to elect a president in Russian-backed South Ossetia, after the results of a November vote were annulled by a court after a Kremlin-backed candidate appeared to lose.
WATCH: South Ossetians vote in the first round of their presidential election (in Russian)
South Ossetia was the spark that led to the brief 2008 Russian-Georgian war.
Russia recognized South Ossetian independence after the war, but only a handful of other countries have done so.
With reporting by AP and AFP