The ruling party has admitted that its favourite candidate has failed to win the election
The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) released the first results of the election in the early hours of 29 October. Votes from 512 constituencies had been counted by that time. Based on them, a second round of elections will have be held.
Salome Zurabishvili, the candidate supported by the ruling party, received 40.05% of the votes. Grigol Vashadze of the United Opposition secured 37.93%.
Davit Bakradze – 10.83%;
Shalva Natelashvili – 4.16%;
Davit Usupashvili – 1.83%;
Zurab Japaridze – 1.70%.
Voting in Georgia’s presidential elections came to an end at 8 pm this evening.
As of 5 pm, a little less than 39 per cent of the population had voted.
The CEC will start publishing the results at midnight.
Three exit polls
As soon as the polling stations closed, the results of three different exit polls were published.
Two exit polls say there will be a second round of voting, while a third says Salome Zourabichvili will win in the first round.
Both the united opposition and Georgian Dream headquarters were celebrating their respective victories.
The only candidate who has seen defeat at this stage is Davit Bakradze, the leader of European Georgia, who, according to preliminary data, took third place.
Bakradze said that, in the event of a second round, he will support opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze.
Grigol Vashadze and his supporters were also celebrating.
The Georgian Dream commissioned exit poll
The ruling Georgian Dream party commissioned an exit poll via an organisation by the name of Psychoproject which predicted the following results:
Salome Zourabichvili: 52.3 per cent;
Grigol Vashadze: 28.1 per cent;
David Bakradze: 9.2 per cent;
Zurab Japaridze: 3.3 per cent;
Shalva Natelashvili: 3.1 per cent.
The Rustavi-2 commissioned exit poll
TV company Rustavi-2 also commissioned an exit poll through Edison Research. The study yielded the following results as of 4 pm earlier this afternoon, and predicted that a second round will be held:
Grigol Vashadze: 40 per cent;
Salome Zourabichvili: 40 per cent;
Davit Bakradze: 10 per cent;
Shalva Natelashvili: 3 per cent;
Davit Usupashvili: 2 per cent.
The European Georgia commissioned exit poll
The third exit poll was conducted by BCG Research and was commissioned by European Georgia. It also predicted a second round of voting:
Grigol Vashadze: 37 per cent;
Salome Zourabichvili: 34 per cent;
Davit Bakradze: 17 per cent.
- Party activists and coordinators were active at polling stations and attempted to influence voters;
- Transparency International noted voter bribing and ballot stuffing (one person submitting several votes) in Zugdidi;
- The Georgian Young Lawyers Association received messages from people who had been contacted by Salome Zourabichvili’s headquarters, who asked whether or not they had voted today and if they were interested in participating in the elections.
However, these violations did not appear to be on a massive scale.
Check out the photostory from Levan Mikadze/JAMnews and REUTERS about election day.