CIS observers call Georgia parliamentary elections 'democratic'

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Moscow, May 22 (UNI) An observer mission from the former Soviet CIS countries has declared Georgia's parliamentary elections, won by the pro-presidential ruling party, free and democratic.

''The elections were calm and democratic, and the fact that there were some violations cannot influence the outcome of the vote,'' the head of the CIS mission, Nauryz Aidarov, told journalists in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, today.

With 45 per cent of the vote counted, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement has received 61.79 per cent of the vote, while the main opposition bloc, United Opposition, is in second place with 14.82 per cent.

The observer mission from 11 former Soviet republics, involving 74 people monitoring voting in 500 ballot stations in 20 constituencies, said Georgian authorities had ''provided all necessary conditions for monitoring.'' However, the opposition said soon after the polls closed that it had won the elections and threatened to start a ''people's rebellion'' if the results were rigged.

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