Georgia President Finally Admits Election Defeat

World | October 2, 2012, Tuesday // 14:37|  views

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili speaks to journalists after casting his vote for the parliamentary elections at a polling station in Tbilisi, Georgia, 01 October 2012. Photo by BGNES

Hours after both rulers and opposition in Georgia claimed poll victory, President Mikheil Saakashvili has finally admitted his party has lost the parliamentary election.

"It's clear from the preliminary results that the opposition has the lead and it should form the government - and I as president should help them with this," Saakashvili said in a live TV announcement.

His United National Movement would become "an opposition force" and would "fight for the future of our country", he said, acknowledging big differences between it and Georgian Dream.

"Democracy works and the Georgian people take the decision and this is what we deeply respect," he added.

Early results showed Georgian Dream of billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, ahead in the party list vote, which accounts for 77 of the 150 seats.

Victory for Ivanishvili, Georgia's richest man, means the first democratic transfer of power in Georgia's post-Soviet history.

President Mikheil Saakashvili has warned that Georgian Dream bloc will divert the country from its pro-west route and turn it once again into Moscow's satellite.

Russia defeated Georgian forces in a brief war in 2008.

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Tags: Georgia, Georgian President, Georgian Prime Minister, Mikheil Saakashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgian Dream, United National Movement, UNM, elections, parliamentary elections, Russia, NATO, EU, South Ossetia, Caucasus, Southern Caucasus, Abkhazia, Tblilis


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