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Ruling party wins Elections

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, October 10
Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has provided preliminary results of October 8 Parliamentary Elections, which said the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party won big majority of seats in 150-seat legislative body.

CEC released the outcomes at about 7pm yesterday and said in the proportional, party list elections the GDDG gained 48,61% of votes and the opposition United National Movement 27,04% of votes.

CEC said it counted 3,667polling stations out of total 3,702, which meant 99,41% of votes were counted.

Based on the outcomes only Alliance of Patriots retained a chance to overcome the mandatory 5% threshold and gain 6 seats in the legislative body, as it received 4,99% of votes.

The parties next in the list were: Free Democrats - 4,59% of votes, Labour party - 3,12 % and Republicans - 1,55%.

CEC chairperson Tamar Zhvania said in about 50-53 majoritarian constituencies there would be a need of a second round of elections, as none of the presented candidates managed to gain more than 50% of votes.

77 lawmakers are elected through party lists in Georgia, while the remaining 73 via majoritarian system.

In the majoritarian constituencies, where one of the candidates managed to overcome the threshold, the ruling party was also in the leading position.

International observers from the European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE and NATO have already assessed the elections.

They said the elections were “competitive and well-organised” and were conducted mainly in a calm environment.

The observers said the elections reflected the will of the Georgian population despite several facts of confrontation which took place out of polling stations.

The observers said Georgia required more pre-election debates, better informed voters and more refined system of vote-counting.

CEC said in response that it was ready to refine and ease the vote-counting process and was ready to receive any remarks and recommendations from foreign organisations.

The GDDG party said the elections were held in a calm environment and accused the opposition UNM in staging provocations in some cases.

One of party leaders, Irakli Kobakhidze said the GDDG would gain constitutional majority in Parliament that was equal to at least 100 seats.

The UNM leadership said the elections were fabricated and stressed the party would gather to agree on a future strategy.

CEC must summarise the outcomes of the first round until October 27, while the same procedure after holding the second rounds must take place until November 27. Before the CEC preliminary data was released four broadcasters- Imedi TV, Maestro, GDS and Georgia’s Public Broadcaster (GPB) aired their exit poll results, which said three parties overcame the 5% election threshold.

Rustavi 2 also released its final exit poll results, saying only two parties could appear in the legislative body: Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia-39,9% and the United National Movement-32%.

UNM said the Rustavi 2 exit polls were reliable for them, while the ruling team says Rustavi 2 is affiliated with the UNM, the party which ran Georgia in 2003-2012, until was defeated by the current ruling team.

The international observers stressed exit polls were no official source and parties had to be based on the official data provided by CEC when planning their actions.

Number of experts says they wished to see more multi-party parliament, as occupying major seats by the ruling team would enable them to make the decisions they wished.

Constitutionalist Vakhushti Menabde wrote if the GDDG kept its promise given prior to 2012 elections and rejected the majoritarian election system, there would be at least 6 parties in the future parliament.

The October 8 election turnout was 51,63 %.

The data showed over 1.8 million people voted out of 3,5 million eligible voters.

19 political parties and 6 election blocs participated in the Parliamentary Elections.

People also voted to elect lawmakers in the 21-member Supreme Council of Adjara, Georgia’s western Autonomous Republic, in six election constituencies.

3,702 polling stations were opened all over Georgia.

55 polling stations were opened in 40 other countries.

More than 42,000 representatives from different political parties or blocs observed the elections.

About 30,000 members of 111 local observing organisations monitored the election process.

About 1,500 representatives from 55 foreign observing missions observed the elections.

About 5,400 representatives from 184 media outlets covered the election process.