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Georgia Parliamentary Election: Saakashvili concedes defeat, says his party now opposition

Georgian President and leader of the United National Movement ruling party Mikhail Saakashvili has officially conceded the defeat in the parliamentary election on national TV. The UNM now goes into opposition to the winning Georgian Dream coalition.

    President Saakashvili’s statement:

    “Dear compatriots! After summarizing the preliminary results of parliamentary elections, it is obvious that the coalition Georgian Dream has gained an advantage in these elections.

    It means that the parliamentary majority should form a new government and I, as the President, will contribute – in frames of the constitution – to the process of launching Parliament’s work so that it is able to elect its Chairman and also to form a new government.

    You know well that the views of this coalition were and still are fundamentally unacceptable for me. There are very deep differences between us and we believe that their views are extremely wrong, but democracy works in a way that Georgian people makes decisions by majority. That’s what we of course respect very much.

Both are gone …

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The party which gains the parliamentary majority will be able to appoint a new prime minister next year. The prime minister will have more power than ever before because Georgia has changed its constitution, giving the position many of the powers currently held by the president.­

Central Elections Committee data indicates that with over 25 per cent of the votes counted so far, the opposition Georgian Dream coalition is winning with about 53.3 per cent of the popular vote, while the ruling United National Movement (UNM) has gained about 41.5 per cent. One more opposition party, the Christian-Democrat Movement, has managed to pass the necessary 5 per cent threshold.

The CEC has estimated the election’s final turnout at 61 per cent. With 3,613,851 voters officially registered in Georgia this means at least 2,204,450 people went to cast their votes.

The CEC said its website has suffered a denial-of-service attack, leading to a delay in the release of the results. “Our website was under DDoS attack, which has caused minor delays…but we were ready for such a scenario too,” said Elections Committee Chairman Zurab Kharatishvili, as quoted by Civil Georgia news website.

Overall 60,000 observers from 100 Georgian and international organizations and 15 countries were monitoring the elections in Georgia. The international observers have declared the elections conformed to international standards, despite a number of incidents at polling stations.

U.S. Government supports training of Georgia’s District Election Commissions

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