November 1, 2020

Opposition calls for protests as Georgia’s ruling party claims election victory

Georgia’s ruling party won the largest share of votes in the country’s parliamentary election on Saturday according to preliminary results dismissed by the opposition, which called on its supporters to take to the streets in protest.

Georgian Dream, run by Bidzina Ivanishvili — a Russian-made billionaire who has no formal government role — appeared to be on course for a third consecutive term in office. The electoral commission said the party had won 48.1 per cent of the vote with almost all the ballots counted.

A senior party official said from the results he believed Georgian Dream could “form the government without any problems”, according to remarks published by news agencies.

The ruling party’s popularity has waned over the past year because of its heavy-handed response to street demonstrations and the damage done to the economy by the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday’s poll is seen as a critical test of Georgia’s reputation as a true democracy in a post-Soviet neighbourhood dominated by autocrats and political corruption.

Critics say Mr Ivanishvili, who is Georgia’s richest man, pulls the strings of power from his sprawling mansion complex perched on a hill overlooking the country’s capital, Tbilisi.

Mr Ivanishvili’s connections with Russia and the

Sports leagues bet on augmented reality, virtual reality farther off

Sports leagues bet on augmented reality, virtual reality farther off

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