The ruling party in ex-Soviet Georgia leads municipal elections

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TBILISI, Georgia (AP) – The ruling party in the former Georgian Soviet Republic leads the partial results in national municipal elections, but municipal elections in the country’s four largest cities will likely need a second tower.

The Central Election Commission said on Sunday that the counts of around 39% of constituencies showed the ruling Georgian Dream party with around 49% of the vote, followed by the main opposition party, the United National Movement, or UNM, with 31%. and a range of other parties. in simple numbers.

Georgian Dream signed an agreement this spring brokered by the European Union to call early elections for the national parliament if his share of the vote in municipal elections was less than 43%. However, he later withdrew from the agreement, claiming that the UNM had not signed it; this party did it later.

The mayoral elections in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi and Rustavi all seem to be heading for a second round as no candidate recorded an absolute majority of votes.

The election was clouded by the arrest on Friday of exiled ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who returned to the country in an attempt to galvanize opposition to the Georgian dream.

Saakashvili, who left the country in 2014 after Georgian Dream won the presidency, faces up to six years in prison for abuse of power in absentia.


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