Ruling party in ex-Soviet Georgia leads in parliament vote, opposition protests

TBILISI: The ruling Georgian Dream party leads in a parliamentary election in Georgia on Saturday, preliminary results showed, but the opposition rejected the figures and said it planned to protest.

With over 97% of the votes in, data from the Central Election Commission (CEC) gave the ruling Georgian Dream party 48.05% of the vote and the largest opposition party United National Movement (UNM) 27.07%.

Several other opposition parties managed to clear the 1% threshold for membership in parliament.

The opposition said preliminary results did not correspond with reality.

“We won’t accept this result and call on people to come to Rustaveli avenue (in the capital Tbilisi) at 4 p.m.” (1200 GMT) on Sunday, Nika Melia, one of the UNM leaders, told reporters after consultations with other opposition leaders.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said on Sunday that the election had been competitive and fundamental freedoms had generally been respected.

However, the OSCE flagged up allegations of pressure on voters and a blurring of the line between the ruling party and the state, which it said “reduced public confidence in some aspects of the election process.” - Reuters g�a��n�6����j��>ӱ�]���a���