TBILISI: Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party beat main opposition force the United National Movement (UNM) in legislative polls, according to official early results released Sunday amid accusations of vote rigging.
With votes from over 54 percent of precincts counted, the central election commission said Georgian Dream was leading the UNM by 50.44 percent to 26.67 percent in a proportional ballot that will decide 77 of the 150 seats in the legislature.
After polls closed in Saturday’s vote the Georgian Dream was quick to declare victory based on exit polls that gave it a strong lead over the UNM.
But the UNM accused the government of attempts to “steal elections” and held a protest rally outside the central election commission.
Several opposition parties — such as the Labour Party, Alliance of Patriots, and Democratic Georgia – also cried foul, accusing the government of massive vote rigging.
The voting percentages that have been released so far may not necessarily be reflected in parliamentary seats because almost half will be determined on a first-past-the-post basis rather than by the proportional representation system.
Due to the country’s complex election rules the final makeup of the 150-seat parliament may only become clear by late November.