The US Department of State released an official statement regarding the parliamentary elections held on March 12 and March 2 in Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Spokesperson Mark C. Toner stated that US does not recognise the elections and it continues to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.
The statement reads as follows:
"The United States condemns the decision to hold a referendum on April 9 regarding the amendment of South Ossetia’s constitutional name to the Republic of South Ossetia-Alania. We also condemn and do not recognize the results of the illegitimate elections conducted in Abkhazia on March 12 and March 26 or the election planned for April 9 in South Ossetia.
These illegitimate elections and referenda are being conducted in Georgian territory without the consent of the government of Georgia. The United States fully supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and its sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders. Our position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia is clear and consistent. These regions are integral parts of Georgia."
43 civil society organizations active in Georgia shared a joint statement, saying they are “alarmed” by the planned elections in Abkhazia, that it is “unlawful,” and that the results of the election “won’t be able to bring any changes on a legitimate political field neither on the local or international level.”
On February 7, 2017 The authorities of de facto South Ossetia revealed the intention to hold a referendum regarding whether to change the name of Georgia’s breakaway region. The referendum will be held on the 9th of April, at the same time as Presidential elections.
The question of the referendum will be: “Do you agree or not to rename the South Ossetian Republic to Alania?”
The initiative for the referendum was tabled by President Leonid Tibilov in December 2015. He has now released an order to hold the referendum.