Georgia opposition leads early poll results

Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s party, Georgian Dream, is leading the Georgian parliamentary elections with 53.19 percent, after about one quarter of the votes have been counted, the country’s Central Election Commission said around midday on Tuesday.

President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement, meanwhile, has so far secured 41.51 percent of the vote, RIA Novosti reports.

“We have won! The Georgian people have won!” Ivanishvili said in a speech broadcast on an opposition TV channel.

But with the count still proceeding the opposition’s celebrations could prove premature.

President Mikheil Saakashvili, who leads the ruling United National Movement (UNM), admitted on state television that Georgian Dream was ahead in the vote in Tbilisi, but said his coalition was winning convincingly in the regions.

“But this does not mean we will split the country between Tbilisi and the regions,” Saakashvili said. “We are all citizens of Georgia and we must stand side-by-side.”

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