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Thursday, March 15, 2018

South Ossetian elections will dispense with pre-election programs

In South Ossetia has completed registration of candidates for the position of head of state. And, unlike the vast majority of republics of the former Soviet Union, the outcome of the presidential election in South Ossetia remains unpredictable. Meanwhile, they have fundamental significance for the entire foreign policy doctrine of the Russian Federation, build 2008.

The CEC of South Ossetia has registered seven and a half of the initiative groups to nominate candidates for the presidency of the Republic, elections will be held April 9. Seven is the initiative group has already obtained the right to open an electoral account and start collecting signatures, and “half” is an initiative group, which appealed to the CEC with a request to register it “in mind”: they have not named its candidate, but promised to announce it at the meeting on 11 February. Date happened, and the meeting – no, but from a legal point of view, the initiative group to nominate an unknown candidate still exists.

“Special attention was attracted by the figure of the former President Eduard Kokoity. His nomination was turned into a play”

The obvious favorites two – incumbent President Leonid Tibilov and the speaker of Parliament, leader of the party “United Ossetia” Anatoly Bibilov. It is considered that their opposition defines the whole internal policy of the government in recent years, however, it is not so.

Elections in South Ossetia are always unpredictable in virtue of the peculiar behavior of the electorate, whose motives are hard to understand, sociologists and political strategists, who grew up in the hothouse of the Russian conditions. But, despite the specificity of the situation, during these elections as never before the crucial role of the traditional factors – the presence of clearly expressed political objectives and a program of development of the Republic, and the effect of the work of spin doctors and PR people, on the contrary, can be extremely low. Not critical even “Moscow’s opinion”, if any, in this case even exists. Russia is interested in maintaining the continuity of power and stability in South Ossetia and not to any specific people. This is a controversial position (especially controversial makes real practice), but that is the political reality.

Besides the two favorites, particular attention was drawn to the figure of the former President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity. His nomination was turned into a show that has rapidly acquired fans. Mr Kokoity has always been prone to a kind of theatrical behavior, but the fact that he has no right to run for President, because it does not pass the “residency requirement” – over the last five years he has not lived in South Ossetia and was not in the mission by a public authority. To treat the very existence of such qualifications may be different, but as a legislative norm it exists. And Kokoity in his time and invented that rule, not letting on elections his personal enemy – the coach of Russian national team on free-style wrestling Tedeev Dzhambulat. Now the question of “qualification for Gabelica” became the main topic of discussions in social networks – the only way out of South Ossetia in the global public space.

Legally the situation is undeniable: Kokoity could not be allowed to vote, if you don’t get help, that in 2011 was in business trip abroad in Moscow, performing a secret mission to the Motherland. All others invent his fans ways (e.g., to allow for the elections on the grounds that he was already the President) – a sign of hopelessness and provincial thinking.

Another thing is that the surge of interest in the figure Kokoity provoked, paradoxically, not his supporters (he does have his own electorate, which can be up to 30% of the electorate), and his well-organized opponents. “From every iron” suddenly showered with texts and interviews with experts, proving that to elections it should be allowed. According to some data, many of these publications have been initiated by people unfamiliar with the situation in the Republic, but considered the extension of Kokoity’s threat to stability in South Ossetia. The result was the opposite. Even many neutral people as a result of this propaganda attack was to give the impression that the former President is hardly the favorite in the presidential race, and only the artificial limit of supported “regime”, prevents him from triumphant return to power. Such “cultural” mistakes is very typical for the current system of relations in the Moscow – Tskhinvali.

The remaining four candidates – either of a technical figure, the extension of which is mysterious, or young and promising, working on their own future. For example, the local KGB officer Alan Gagloev and the Deputy of Parliament, doctor Alan Kononov belong to that category, which in the local system of values called “horse Lappe’s” – “nice guy”. So respectfully referred to those who in the early 90-ies was the first to take up arms to protect it from Georgian aggression. Now only a few are involved in political and public life, having achieved any success. However, Kononov and Gagloev not personifiziert this social category, it is only a paragraph in the biography, albeit important. Kononov represents in Parliament, the opposition party “people’s Unity”, but on most issues solidarized with the ruling party “United Ossetia”, so to define his political creed is extremely difficult. Gagloev’s not able at the meeting of the initiative group even to announce his electoral program, limiting the fact that “it is.”

Something similar happened with another candidate Amiran Bagayev. “From 2008 to 2012 I worked in the Committee on public procurement on bread place… And now I have nothing left, so I decided to go for the presidency,” he joked Bagaev (to procurement Committee by the way, he worked in the interior Ministry and the customs). A sense of humor are all appreciated, but the questions remain.

Structured, coherent and generally any election program, there is no one candidate. Beautiful phrases about the growth of standard of living, care about pensioners, attracting talented young people all say, albeit with varying degrees of artistry. Another thing to imagine in the near future, something more meaningful than the woman.

Of course, technical candidates and “nominees for the future” by and large similar and do not wait. At the last elections (both presidential and parliamentary) such candidates and the party usually took the turnover of any one subject, and I tried to dance around it, not bothering with the invention of global programmes. Now, it is impossible to win.

In a particularly difficult situation were the Parliament speaker Anatoly Bibilov, the old slogan of which “five steps to Russia” discredited, like his previous program. While Bibilov virtually no support among those in South Ossetia and Russia, who could offer him something new. His support publicly until now has not spoken any Russian expert, and his speech at the meeting of the initiative group in style reminiscent of the performances of 2011 – the current government down, and there come what may. And there are suspicions that preparing this text the same people that five years ago. And stuck in a different era without any revaluation of values is a big mistake.

The incumbent President Leonid Tibilov has an obvious advantage – he lives in the present and can build on achieved during the last four years of results. In addition, there is every reason to believe that at a crucial period in the race he will be able to present a set of proposals – if not revolutionary, then at least able to attract attention. Can we expect the same from the team Bibilov reason yet.

It is possible that the main trump cards (primarily the President) can be popriderzhat for the second round, the two leading candidates, it is unlikely that anything will change. No exact sociological data (and are unlikely to be), but, according to information from the field in the past few months, the rating Bibilov fell because of the absence of the candidate bright ideas.

Thus, in the presidential race in South Ossetia still remains intriguing, and the situation in South Ossetia is an important strategic component of foreign and defense system of the Russian Federation prescribed in the basic doctrines, will always attract attention. For Russia, this is not a local event in the small neighboring Republic, where there is a Russian military base, and the element of trust to all its foreign policy strategy, which was built in 2008.


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