Georgian former president Mikhail Saakashvili has won Saturday's
presidential election by 53.8 percent of votes and his supporters
have started to celebrate his victory.
candidate Mikhail Saakashvili greets his supporters in Tbilisi
January 4, 2008.
The exit polls which showed Saakashvili's victory was based on
statistics till 8 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), before the official
end of the 12-hour voting.
Previous exit polls based on statistics at 4 p.m. local time
also indicated a more than 50 percent results.
"The four-hour difference will not change the percentage of
votes," a representative of the exit polls organizations said on
Under Georgian law, a 50 percent plus one vote will ensure the
victory of a candidate.
Business tycoon Levan Gachechiladze, a leading competitor of
Saakashvili, won 28.5 percent and the other five opposition
candidates won less than 20 percent of ballots in total, the exit
Gachechiladze, backed by a 9-party opposition coalition, has
claimed distrust against the exit polls and called on Georgians to
take to the streets on Sunday to protest against the election
result, alleging there is a "dictatorship" in the former Soviet
"We will wait for results and documentation from polling
stations, based on which we will celebrate the victory as
Saakashvili is defeated in Tbilisi and many other regions of
Georgia," local media quoted an opposition spokesperson as
Thousands of supports of Saakashvili have gathered at his
campaign office for celebration and dozens of mini buses are parked
outside the gym in downtown Tbilisi.
Dozens of motorcades with national flags sticking out have been
cruising around the mountainous capital and petrol police vehicles
are frequently seen on the street on the Orthodox Christmas
If no candidate wins in the first round, a second round of
voting between the top two candidates in the first round will
follow two weeks later and who wins a majority in the run-off wins
Two think-tanks, the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and
Development and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and
International Studies, have joined with the Georgian Institute of
Public Affairs and government-funded Ilia Chavchavadze State
University to carry out the exit polls.
Some 46 percent of the 3.3 million voters has cast their ballots
in the election till 5 p.m. local time (1300 GMT), the Central
Election Commission figures showed.
There's no threshold for presidential election in the
Meanwhile, exit polls of two referendums held on the sidelines
of the voting indicated that some 61 percent of voters support
Georgia to join Soviet's former military rival NATO and some 64
percent voters agree to hold a parliamentary election in Spring
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2008)