Political Deadlock Ends In Georgia's Breakaway South Ossetia

The de facto parliament of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia has approved a new figure to lead the next government, ending nearly six months of political deadlock and an opposition boycott.

South Ossetia's de facto president, Anatoly Bibilov, issued a decree on March 12 making Gennady Bekoyev the region's prime minister after a majority of lawmakers agreed to his candidacy.

The Moscow-backed breakaway region of Georgia has been in political crisis since the previous government resigned in August in the wake of protests over the death of a 28-year-old man from injuries sustained while in police custody.

The death led some in the opposition to demand Bibilov's resignation.

Opposition lawmakers began boycotting the de facto parliament in September, depriving it of a quorum to approve a new government. That deadlock was resolved on March 12, when 14 boycotting lawmakers attended the session.

In a secret vote, 19 deputies voted for Bekoyev, 11 voted against him, and one deputy abstained.

The 39-year-old Bekoyev was previously de facto deputy prime minister and economic development minister.

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Russia recognized South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states after Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August 2008.

Only a handful of other countries, however, have followed the Kremlin's lead, which has kept Russian forces in both regions since.

With reporting by Interfax

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