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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Saakashvili's Allies Win 75% of Vote

APA man begging near a wall plastered by election posters in Tbilisi on Monday. Observers called the vote "more democratic."
TBILISI, Georgia -- Supporters of President Mikheil Saakashvili won more than three-quarters of the vote in Georgia's weekend parliamentary elections, according to preliminary official results released Monday, giving the leader a compliant legislature to push through his anti-corruption program and help rein in the restive Adzharia province.

With about 20 percent of ballots counted, the Central Elections Commission gave Saakashvili's National Movement-Democrat party 74.9 percent, and no other party had the 7 percent minimum necessary to gain seats in the legislature. The moderate opposition Right Opposition-Industrialists party was closest, with 6.4 percent.

"We did everything to make these elections fair," Saakashvili said late Sunday after exit poll results reflecting his party's overwhelming victory were released. "This was the first election campaign in Georgia's modern history in which, outside Adzharia, not a single instance of violence against opposition parties was recorded."

A combined group of foreign observers, including monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said the elections "demonstrated commendable progress."

"This poll was better organized and more democratic than previous ones," said Matyas Eorsi, head of the Parliamentary Assembly delegation. "Yet it almost resulted in a one-party parliament, which does reflect the will of the people, but cannot reflect the wide diversity of views indispensable for meaningful debates on Georgia's future."

Sunday's elections were to choose deputies for 150 party-list seats in the 235-member parliament.