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Washington refuses to recognize S.Ossetian elections

RIA Novosti

10:1002/06/2009 WASHINGTON, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Washington said it would not recognize last weekend's parliamentary polls in the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

South Ossetia held on Sunday its first parliamentary elections since Russia recognized it as independent last August following a war with Georgia. The ruling Unity party garnered 46.38% of the vote, local election authorities said citing preliminary results after all the ballots had been counted.

"The United States regrets the decision to hold so-called 'elections' in the South Ossetia region of Georgia on May 31, 2009, and recognizes neither the legality nor the results," the State Department said on Monday.

Washington described the elections as "a step away from a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict," and reiterated its support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said in an address to the nation on Monday that the elections were a test of the state's independence. "And we have proved it. We deserve to live in an independent state," he said.

The European Union also signaled on Monday it would not accept the results of South Ossetia's "illegitimate" polls.

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