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Pro-Russian Ex-KGB Chief Elected South Ossetia President

Pro-Russian former KGB chief Leonid Tibilov was elected President of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russian media reported on Monday.

Bella Pliyeva, chairperson of the tiny Caucasus republic's Central Election Commission, announced on Monday that Tibilov won 54.12 percent of the votes against his rival David Sanakoyev in Sunday's run-off.

Thirty-five-year-old human rights ombudsman, Sanakoyev polled 42.65 percent, while 0.96 percent of voters cast their votes "against all" candidates.

Tibilov, 60, called upon his countrymen "to build a new successful rule-of-law state."

He vowed to develop the relationship with Russia in all areas. "We are aiming to make an old dream about the reunification of South and North Ossetia a reality," the former head of South Ossetia's State Security Committee told reporters in capital Tskhinvali.

South Ossetia's first valid presidential election since it became independent more than three years ago was extended into a second round as none of the candidates could win a clear majority in the first round held on March 25.

Russia's monitors called the vote, already rejected by the European Union and the United States, fair.

Russian troops ousted Georgian occupying forces from the autonomous provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia during a brief but intense fighting in August 2008. Shortly, both the separatist provinces declared their independence from Georgia.

Very few countries, including Russia, have recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent States.

Abkhazia's parliamentary elections were completed in March. The EU and the U.S. refused to recognize these elections too.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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