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The News in Brief

Monday, October 10
Another Georgian soldier killed in Ukraine

Davit Gamsakhurdia, a Georgian soldier of Ukraine’s armed forces, has been killed in Ukraine.

The 26-year-old soldier died in combat near Donetsk.

A total of 173 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed this year according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.

UNM Rallies Outside CEC, Vows to ‘Defend Votes’

Claiming that the authorities are trying to “steal the elections”, the UNM opposition party called on supporters to rally outside the Central Election Commission.

UNM leaders and supporters started gathering at the CEC at about 3am on Sunday, about seven hours after the polling stations were closed in the October 8 parliamentary elections.

With returns from more than third of precincts, early official results show ruling GDDG party in the lead with more than 51% of votes, followed by UNM with over 25%. The Patriot Alliance falls short of the 5% threshold required for a party to win seats in the Parliament under the proportional party-list system.

“Votes have been stolen from us and now they [authorities] are telling us that Ivanishvili has more than 50 percent of support…we will defend our votes to the end,” Nika Melia, the UNM’s chief of campaign and MP candidate, told protesters outside the CEC, which was cordoned off by police shortly after the opposition party announced plans to rally outside the election administration.

Claiming that the UNM has “won this election”, Melia also said that “struggle goes into a decisive phase.”

UNM MP Giorgi Baramidze said that “our struggle will be uncompromising”.

The UNM has accused the ruling GDDG party of trying to thwart the vote count process in those polling stations where the opposition party claims it is winning.

Two polling stations in the village of Jikhashkari of Zugdidi municipality in Samegrelo region were raided late on Saturday night after the vote count started.

UNM MP Sergo Ratiani has alleged that the CEC is releasing vote tally protocols “selectively” from those polling stations where the GDDG is leading in order to create a false impression that the ruling party is winning in the overall vote count.

UNM leaders demanded a meeting with CEC chairperson Tamar Zhvania, who agreed and met UNM’s Giga Bokeria, Davit Bakradze and Nika Melia in the early hours of Sunday.

“There is no sense in speaking with them,” Bokeria said after the meeting. “We are now going to hold consultations within the party on our further protest steps.”

77 seats in the 150-member parliament are up for grabs under the proportional system.

A total of 73 majoritarian MP seats are contested in 73 single-mandate constituencies.

Suspect identified after Tuesday’s car bomb in Tbilisi

A suspect has been identified in the case of a car bomb on Tuesday targeting the car of a member of parliament of the United National Movement party.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) said o Friday evening that law enforcement bodies searched several houses and found guns and explosive devices and the materials needed to make them.

“We have identified a person affiliated with this crime,” the ministry wrote in a statement, which also says the person’s whereabouts are unknown.

The MIA did not share more details, citing concern for protecting the investigation.

A car belonging to MP Givi Targamadze blew up in the evening of October 4, a day before the United National Movement held its big election rally and three days before the election itself. He was in the front passenger seat next to his driver.

Law enforcement bodies are now searching apartments of people affiliated with the identified suspect, the MIA said.
(df watch)