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News > Georgia

Georgia Reports No Irregularities in Subnational Elections

  •  A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Tbilisi, Georgia, Oct. 2, 2021.

    A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Tbilisi, Georgia, Oct. 2, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 October 2021
Opinion

The elections took place a day after the arrest of ex-President and leader of the opposition Mikhail Saakashvili who was in exile in Ukraine. 

In Georgia, over 3.5 million citizens were called to the polls on Saturday in local elections amid a political crisis fueled by the arrest of ex-President and opposition leader Mikhail Saakashvili (2004 to 2013).  

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Saakashvili was detained Friday after arriving in the Central Asian nation from Ukraine. In 2018, he was convicted in absentia for abuse of power, corruption, and covering up evidence.

The Georgian Prosecutor General's Office recalled that the politician now faces new criminal cases that can carry a sentence of up to 11 years in prison.

In an exit poll by Imedi TV station, the ruling Georgian Dream Party (GDP) gained 47.6 percent of votes, while  the main opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM) founded by Saakashvili, secured 27.1 percent votes.

UNM leader Nika Melia accused the government of turning Saakashvili into a refugee while calling for his release.

Political tensions have been rising since last year's protests following parliamentary elections in which the opposition accused the GDP of rigging the results.

An agreement brokered by the European Union called for the government to hold a new parliamentary election if GDP were to win less than 43 percent of Saturday's local vote.

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