People in Georgia vote in round 2 of parliamentary polls

October 30, 2016 6:30 pm
People in Georgia are voting in the second round of parliamentary elections, which would determine which party members would own the majority of the seats in the legislature.
Georgians went to the polling stations on Sunday, in a contest that is mainly between the ruling Georgian Dream Party and the United National Movement (UNM).
Georgian Dream took 67 of the 150 seats in the first round of the voting three weeks ago. The UNM won 27 seats.
Both parties are pro-West, seeking closer ties with NATO and the European Union (EU).
The pro-Russia Alliance of Patriots won a mere six seats.
Georgian Dream was founded and is funded by powerful businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, 60, who is also the country’s richest man.
The opposition UNM was established by the 48-year-old former president Mikheil Saakashvili, now an expatriate.
Georgian Dream’s candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili won the country’s presidency in 2013. Saakashvili was barred by the constitution from seeking a third term in office.
Shortly after his tenure, Saakashvili left Georgia. He is now wanted in his home country for multiple criminal charges, which he has rejected as politically motivated.
If Georgian Dream wins the three-quarters majority that it seeks in the parliament, it would pave the way for the party to introduce changes to the constitution. One such planned modification is an amendment to have the parliament elect the president.
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