TSKHINVALI, Georgia, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court in the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia ruled Tuesday the runoff presidential election was fatally flawed.
The court ordered a second election, RIA Novosti reported. Both Education Minister Alla Dzhioyeva and Emergencies Minister Anatoly Bibilov claim to have won Sunday's vote, and no official result has been announced.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia refused to join Georgia when it declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The two regions function like independent states in many ways, although they are recognized only by Russia and a handful of other countries.
Atsamav Bichenov, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, said Dzhioyeva will be barred from participating in the new runoff scheduled for March 25 because her party was responsible for the violations.
Bibilov represented the ruling Unity Party, which filed objections to the vote. He was believed to be the candidate backed by Russia.
The court decision is a "power takeover," a spokesman for Dzhioyeva said.