South Ossetian opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva was hospitalized on Thursday after law enforcers tried to take her into custody for questioning, the former Georgian republic’s deputy prosecutor general, Georgy Kabulov, said.
“Dzhioyeva was summoned for questioning to the prosecutor general’s office as an eyewitness in an attempt to seize the Central Election Commission’s building last year,” Kabulov said. “She did not show up.”
“When law enforcers entered her home [to try to bring her in for questioning using force], she suffered a hypertensive crisis and she fainted. She is in a hospital now,” he said.
A doctor in the hospital said Dzhioyeva had suffered a stroke affecting her left side, and was presently in intensive care.
Anatoly Bibilov, Russia’s favored candidate in last year’s annulled presidential polls in the breakaway Georgian territory of South Ossetia, announced on Monday he would not take part in a new vote, scheduled for March 25. He said the unrest which followed the annulment had split society, and urged all candidates who took part in last year’s election to quit the race.
Bibilov, the Russia-allied region’s emergencies minister, was defeated by Dzhioyeva in a runoff vote in November, but the region’s Supreme Court declared the results invalid and barred Dzhioyeva from the March elections after Bibilov accused her of vote-rigging.
Dzhioyeva, South Ossetia’s former education minister, denounced the ruling and declared herself president. She also announced her inauguration date as February 10 and called on all candidates to ignore the March vote and recognize her as president.
Acting president Vadim Brovtsev, appointed to the post in December after President Eduard Kokoity resigned over opposition protests in Tskhinvali, the republic’s capital, on Thursday accused Dzhioyeva of trying to plot a coup d’état.
“As acting president and head of government of the Republic of South Ossetia, I, in line with the Constitution, have to ensure the implementation of the decision [to hold a new vote on March 25],” Brovtsev said.
“Certain political forces are trying to escalate to the maximum the public and political situation in the republic. Ex-presidential candidate Dzhioyeva publicly announced that she will be inaugurated on February 10, 2012… which clearly contradicts decisions by both the republic’s parliament and other state power bodies,” he said.
“Such statements… are actually a call for a forcible seizure of power,” Brovtsev said, pledging to “block all attempts for an unconstitutional coup in the republic.”
Russian tabloid Life News cited Dzhioyeva’s colleagues as saying over the phone that she was beaten by armed masked people who burst into her headquarters.
But South Ossetia’s Interior Minister Valery Valiyev denied any brutal treatment of Dzhioyeva.
“Law enforcement officers acted correctly, in line with the law, without physical violence against Dzhioyeva. We flatly deny all rumors that she was struck by the butt of a rifle on the head, which caused an internal blood effusion,” Valiyev told journalists.