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Georgian Dream Wins 'Overwhelming Majority' After Sweeping Runoff Election Boycotted By Opposition

Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party will hold a wide majority in parliament after sweeping second-round elections on November 21 that were boycotted by the opposition, preliminary results showed.

Opposition parties have been demanding a repeat October 31 parliamentary elections, staging regular protests against results they describe as illegitimate and unfair.

Georgian Dream, founded by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, came in first in the October 31 elections with 48.15 percent, while the United National Movement bloc had 27.14 percent and European Georgia was third with 3.78 percent. Several other smaller parties crossed the 1 percent threshold to enter parliament.

The election was the first under a reformed system backed by the United States and EU that gives more weight to proportional representation. Of 150 seats in parliament, 120 seats are determined based on party lists and 30 seats through single-mandate districts.

Thirteen single-mandate constituencies were determined in the first round.

The runoff vote was for 17 seats in single-mandate districts where no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of ballots in the first round.

Commenting on the outcome, Georgian Dream leader Irakli Kobakhidze said that the next parliament will be one in which “the ruling party has an overwhelming majority.”

“As expected, all 17 candidates of the Georgian Dream won seats. Accordingly, the Georgian Dream will be represented in the next parliament by 90 deputies,” he said.

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Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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