TBILISI, DFWatch–The ruling party holds a significant lead after Georgia’s general election, according to the Central Elections Commission, and will be able to form a new government without the need for a coalition.
The opposition, meanwhile, refuses to accept the election results released by CEC, insisting they are falsisifed. Opposition politicians claim, based on an exit poll commissioned by an anti-government TV channel, that they won and that the government fabricated the final results with the help of CEC, citing multiple alleged violations.
Indeed, the exit poll commissioned by Mtavari Arkhi and carried out by Ipsos suggests opposition votes combined are more than those of the ruling GD. Three other exit polls, however, indicate the opposite.
Meanwhile, reports published by OSCE, NATO, and PACE based on international observers offer a generally positive assessment of the election, but note some violations.
“The 31 October parliamentary elections were competitive and, overall, fundamental freedoms were respected. Nevertheless, pervasive allegations of pressure on voters and blurring of the line between the ruling party and the state reduced public confidence in some aspects of the process,” the statement released by International Election Observation Mission reads.
Almost all major opposition forces, except the far-right Alliance of Patriots, held a protest rally on Rustaveli Avenue Sunday evening and announced a “huge rally” in Tbilisi next Sunday.
Opposition leaders say they mull boycotting the new parliament and refuse to accept the results published by CEC. Some of them are already suggesting “permanent rallies”.
Ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili fueled outrage by calling upon the entire political spectrum to “mobilize” to defend votes, and compared the current Georgian government with those of Belarus and Russia: “We announce mass mobilization this morning. We won’t allow Ivanishvili to steal the choice of the Georgian people.”
Meanwhile, the latest CEC data show that GD is in a solid lead with 48.16% as over 99 percent of votes have been counted. The UNM is in second place with 27.12%. Other parties have got votes well below. European Georgia got 3.78%, Lelo got 3.16%, Alliance of Patriots and Strategy Aghmashenebeli each got 3.15%, Girchi 2.89%, Citizens 1.33%, Labor Party 1%. All nine political entities qualify for parliament, passing the 1% threshold.
The political party of Nino Burjanadze, former acting president and long-time speaker of parliament, didn’t qualify.
In single constituent (majoritarian) districts GD also fared well, winning all districts in the capital Tbilisi except the uptown Gldani neighborhood, where the GD candidate, former football player Levan Kobiashvili who played for years in the German Bundesliga, is slightly behind the UNM candidate Nika Melia.
Altogether, the GD won 16 majoritarian mandates in the first round, out of 30 in total. In 14 districts, runoff elections are needed, and are scheduled for November 21.
Irakli Kobakhidze, the former speaker of parliament and GD’s spokesperson during the elections, said Sunday morning they have won 62 seats by the proportional system and expect to win all 30 majoritarian seats. Anyway, even now it is clear that GD will face no problem in forming a new government alone, without entering into a coalition with other political groups.