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Election results give National Movement 8 in 10 seats

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 30
Georgia’s ruling party secured a complete hold on the next parliament in last week’s elections, which were marred by accusations of fraud but widely deemed an improvement over the January presidential poll.

The National Movement holds 119 out of 150 seats in the new parliament, according to early official results which are unlikely to change. That is more than enough to secure a quorum and amend the constitution at will.

The nine-party opposition bloc known as the United Opposition is the largest opposition presence, with 17 seats, but has vowed to boycott parliamentary sessions.

The Labor Party and the Christian Democratic Movement are expected to hold six seats each, with the Republicans managing just two seats.

[See the inside fold for a full color map of the results and a look at the new MPs.]

President Mikheil Saakashvili hailed the elections as “exemplary” in a televised government session yesterday, adding that the poll won praise from international observers.

The OSCE monitoring mission’s preliminary report acknowledged that “the authorities…made efforts to conduct these elections in line with [democratic standards],” but noted that observers “identified a number of problems which made this implementation uneven and incomplete.”

All main opposition parties have alleged the ruling party’s victory came through widespread fraud and intimidation.

MPs were elected through two parallel systems. In party list voting with seats allocated proportionally, the government won 48 out of 75 seats for their 59 percent of the nation-wide vote.

The other half of the 150-member parliament was elected in single-representative districts with first-past-the-post-voting. Ruling party candidates won handily in 71 out of 75 districts.

United Opposition candidates won in two Tbilisi districts. Republican candidates won in a district where the ruling party incumbent had withdrawn after accusations of voter intimidation, and in mountainous Kazbegi, the only district outside Tbilisi to vote against the government both in these elections and the presidential poll in January.

Ruling party candidates won more than half the vote in all but roughly half a dozen of those 75 districts.

The Central Election Commission is to confirm the final results by June 8.