World Bulletin / News Desk
Georgia's ruling party has scored a landslide win in disputed parliamentary polls, official results showed on Monday, as the main opposition cried fraud.
"Georgian Dream won in all but two of 50 single-mandate constituencies" where a second round of voting was held on Sunday, central election commission spokeswoman Ketevan Dangadze said
"Independent candidates have won in two constituencies," she added.
For the first time in Georgia's post-Soviet history, the first round also saw a small anti-Western party, the Alliance of Patriots, clearing the five-percent threshold needed to enter parliament.
Georgia's Western allies are watching closely to see if the strategically located nation -- praised as a rare beacon of democracy in the former Soviet region -- can cement gains after its first transfer of power at the ballot box four years ago.
According to the results, Georgian Dream will now take 115 seats, UNM 27 seats, and Alliance of Patriots six seats in the 150-seat unicameral legislature.
The super-majority allows Georgian Dream to form a new cabinet and pass constitutional amendments. Not all has been smooth sailing for Georgian Dream, however.
After both the first round ballot and Sunday's runoffs, opposition parties cried foul, accusing the government of massive vote rigging -- a claim flatly rejected by the authorities.
"The elections were held amid all-out falsifications," Georgia's exiled former president and UNM's founder Mikheil Saakashvili was quoted as saying by Georgian television.
But Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili hailed "free, fair, and transparent elections" as "yet another step forward for Georgian democracy."
"I congratulate everyone on the successful passing of this important democratic test," he said in a statement.Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2016, 16:57