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Georgian President's Party Leads in Parliamentary Election Results


Supporters of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili have emerged as the largest group in parliament in Wednesday's elections, as international observers gave the process a mixed report.

Partial official results give the president's United National Movement just under 60 percent of the vote, while giving the main opposition group more than 16 percent. The opposition is challenging the results.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe noted a number of problems, such as intimidation during the campaign and procedural shortcomings in the vote count.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, took note of the problems but said the vote had proceeded in a positive manner. He called the elections an improvement over January's presidential vote.

He said the United States looks forward to working with the new government once it is formed.

Opposition leaders called a protest rally in central Tbilisi late Wednesday, but only a few thousand supporters showed up.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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