Breakaway South Ossetia to hold presidential election Nov. 12

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The parliament of South Ossetia, a self-proclaimed republic in Georgia, has fixed the date of presidential elections for November 12, the breakaway region's information and press committee said Friday.
MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - The parliament of South Ossetia, a self-proclaimed republic in Georgia, has fixed the date of presidential elections for November 12, the breakaway region's information and press committee said Friday.

South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and a bloody conflict ensued in the region, but the current Georgian leadership is determined to bring the separatist region back under its control.

"The nomination procedure has only started, but there are people willing to run in the election," committee head Irina Gagloyeva said.

Eduard Kokoity, whose five-year term as the unrecognized republic's president ends this year, is currently the only known candidate.

Gagloyeva said parliament had approved the composition of the republic's central election commission, which has started work to prepare the election and a referendum on the republic's independence from Georgia.

A steering committee was set up in August to organize the referendum in order to attain international recognition of the republic's independent status. Two previous referendums - in 1992 and in 2001 - failed to attain the goal.

South Ossetia has stated its desire to join the neighboring Russian republic of North Ossetia, with which it is ethnically and historically connected, and the majority of people in South Ossetia already hold Russian passports in addition to the ruble widely used in the self-proclaimed republic.

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