A disputed presidential election in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia has descended into chaos.
Police have fired shots into the air, as crowds supporting former education minister Alla Dzhioyeva demand she be recognised as the territory’s leader.
She says she is the rightful president-elect.
The move is directly challenging a court order, which has ruled the election results invalid.
“Our first condition is we demand the cancellation of the Supreme Court decision and the handing over of the vote summary documents for publication. Secondly, we guarantee legal immunity for the current president and his family. All of this is non negotiable,” Alla Dzhioyeva said.
Early results showed Dzhioyeva had won Sunday’s vote. But then her rival made allegations of electoral violations.
Moscow recognised South Ossetia as independent after a conflict in 2008. Most of the world consider it part of Georgian sovereign territory.
Judges have ordered new elections in March and called on Dzhioyeva not to stand. She and her rival, Anatoly Bibilov, have pro-Kremlin sympathies.
But Bibilov denies opposition claims that he is directly backed by Moscow.