Tbilisi: Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili`s ruling party won a decisive victory in
municipal elections in the capital Tbilisi Sunday and a key
ally retained the mayor`s post, exit polls said.
Saakashvili`s National Movement took 60 per cent of the
vote for Tbilisi city council and incumbent mayor Gigi Ugulava
was returned to office with 61 per cent of the vote, according
to exit polls for television stations Rustavi-2 and Imedi
released shortly after polling stations closed at 2130 IST.
Main Opposition contender Irakli Alasania took 17 per
cent of the mayoral vote while his Alliance for Georgia party
took 16 per cent of the vote for the city council, the exit
Exit poll figures were not available for the rest of
Georgia, where voters cast ballots today in municipal
elections for 1,730 positions in 64 municipalities across the
former Soviet republic.
About 3.5 million people were registered to vote.
Pre-election polls however showed Saakashvili`s party
expected to win the vote comfortably across the country amid
deep divisions in the opposition.
The vote was Saakashvili`s first electoral test since
Georgia`s 2008 war with Russia.
The vote was also the first-ever direct election for the
mayor`s post in Tbilisi, a position seen as a potential
springboard for the presidency after Saakashvili`s second term
ends in 2013.