South Ossetia holds runoff presidential vote

Published April 8, 2012 9:09AM (EDT)

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — A former KGB chief and a human rights ombudsman are facing each other in a runoff presidential election in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia.

Leonid Tibilov, who led the region's KGB before falling out with the former local president, won over 40 percent of the vote in the first round last month. Tibilov is expected to easily defeat his rival in Sunday's runoff, presidential human rights commissioner David Sanakoyev, who polled just under 25 percent in the first round.

South Ossetia has close ties with Russia, which recognized it as an independent state after the 2008 Russian-Georgian war and still has troops there. Those ties are expected to remain close no matter who becomes president of the province, which has a population of about 50,000.

By Salon Staff

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