TSKHINVALI, Georgia, April 9 (UPI) -- A former head of the KGB won a runoff presidential election in South Ossetia, a disputed breakaway republic of Georgia, his challenger's staff confirmed.
South Ossetia's Education Minister Alla Dzhioyeva claimed a win in November over Kremlin-backed incumbent Eduard Kokoity, though the republic's court annulled the results late last year, saying the vote was flawed by fraud.
Leonid Tibilov, former KGB head in South Ossetia, secured a win during a second round of voting during the weekend. His opponent, David Sanakoyev, a human rights ombudsman, claimed 43 percent of the vote compared with 54 percent for Tibilov, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Russia and Georgia went to war briefly in 2008 over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway republic. NATO said it doesn't recognize the political ambitions of either of Georgia's breakaway regions.
Moscow said last year after heated debates over plans for a European missile defense system that its 2008 war with Georgia prevented NATO from expanding eastward.