Source Pravda.Ru

Tensions aggravate prior to parliamentary elections in South Ossetia

The situation is rather tense in South Ossetia (a self-proclaimed independent republic in Georgian territory) ahead of parliamentary elections fixed for May 23, South Ossetia's Parliament Speaker Stanislav Kochiyev told RIA Novosti.

He said political forces had employed outrageous methods to secure voters' support during the election campaign, which might have a negative effect on further developments.

"Yesterday (May 21), which was the last campaign day, some officials, the republic's prosecutor among them, spoke on the local television to accuse some of the candidates in an attempt to discredit them," said Mr. Kochiyev.

Mr. Kochiyev said the prosecutor, as a public servant, had no right to engage in propaganda under the election law. He overstepped his authority heeding certain groups' interests, according to the parliament speaker.

Mr. Kochiyev believes certain candidates' statements as to the republic's political future are rather dangerous as they may further aggravate relations between South Ossetia and Georgia.

What the republic needs today are strenuous efforts to revive its economy and consolidate its political status, rather than high-flown statements, believes Mr. Kochiyev.

South Ossetia pulled out from Georgia after an armed conflict with it. It has been a de-facto independent republic since 1992. The republic's area is 3,900 sq. km, its population is 70,000.

The authorities have stepped up security measures ahead of the elections. They toughened control on the border with Georgia. South Ossetia is particularly worried by Georgia's promises to export the "rose revolution" to the republic.

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