Eduard Kokoity | 2001 presidential election

2001 Presidential Election

Kokoyty was elected president, at the age of 38, with a majority in the presidential elections of November–December 2001. In the first round of the elections on 18 November 2001, he collected 45% of the vote, with Stanislav Kochiev collecting 24%, and incumbent Lyudvig Chibirov collecting 21%. In the Second and final round, he won 53% of the vote to Stanislav Kochiev's 40% on 6 December. Kokoyty assumed office on 18 December 2001.

Kokoyty's victory was unexpected and owed much to the support of the Tedeyev clan, one of South Ossetia's most powerful families. He had gained key support from Albert "Dik" Tedeyev and his brother Dzhambolat, also a champion wrestler, who organized and financed Kokoyty's election campaign.[1] The clan had previously supported Lyudvig Chibirov, but broke off support for him after he attempted to move against them.[citation needed] After Kokoyty was elected president, members of the Tedeyev clan took over responsibility for the republic's customs service and for freight traffic along the Transcaucasian highway. Revenues from the highway provide much of the South Ossetian government's revenue.

In July 2003, Kokoyty moved against the Tedeyevs. Sacking Albert Tedeyev, the Secretary of the Security Council, and ordering their private militias to be disarmed. According to Kokoyty, the Security Council Secretary, along with the Defense and Security Chiefs had links with criminals. The affair prompted an outbreak of gunfire in Tskhinvali, but no casualties were reported.[citation needed]