Georgia's Central Election Commission declared November 20 that the pro-presidential electoral bloc won the country's parliamentary vote. The commission's announcement injects an additional element of confusion to Georgia's ongoing political crisis, which is being driven by allegations of government vote-rigging.
According to the CEC results of the November 2 election, the pro-Shevardnadze bloc, For a New Georgia, was the leading vote getter, followed by the Revival Union, an Ajarian regional party that is aligned with the president. The opposition National Movement finished third, the CEC said. An independent vote tabulation initiative showed the National Movement to have received the most votes. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
National Movement leader Mikheil Saakashvili, the main organizer of opposition protests that have demanded the president's resignation, said his party did not recognize the CEC results and would try to prevent the new parliament from convening.
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Jaba Devdariani is a board member of the United Nations Association of Georgia (www.una.ge) and analyst of Georgian politics, currently working in Bosnia and Herzegovina.