South Ossetia holds parliamentary elections

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Map of South Ossetia

South Ossetia, one of two breakaway regions of Georgia (the other being the Georgian province of Abkhazia), held parliamentary elections on Sunday.

There are 34 parliamentary seats at stake. Four parties are competing: the ruling Unity Party, the Communist Party of South Ossetia, People's Party of South Ossetia, and Fatherland Socialist Party.

The central election commission has estimated that about 45,000 to 50,000 people are eligible to vote in the polls, although some analysts have suggested this is an exaggeration.

Polling stations closed at 20:00 local time (1600 UTC). Initial results from the vote counting indicated a strong showing for the Unity party, a supporter of Eduard Kokoity, the current leader of the breakaway area.

These are the first elections to be held since South Ossetia's war with Georgia in August 2008. Only Nicaragua and Russia have officially recognised it as an independent state.