The breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia has elected a former KGB officer as its new president.
With just over 54 percent of the vote, Leonid Tibilov beat his main rival, human rights ombudsman David Sanakoyev.
Tibilov said he is “aiming to make an old dream about the reunification of South and North Ossetia a reality”, implying he would like the South to become part of Russia, one of the few countries that recognises an independent South Ossetia.
However, Georgia does not recognise the election and it is unlikely Russia would encourage reunification to avoid antagonising the West.
The tension with Russia over South Ossetia is a main stumbling block to Georgia joining NATO.