16 April 2004 -- Georgia today said that it has given up plans to hold rerun elections in the autonomous republic of Adjaria on 18 April, blaming local leaders for failing to rein in armed militias.
Zurab Chiaberashvili, chairman of the Central Election Commission, said the presence of these militias would make it impossible to achieve a fair election. He also urged the Georgian government to restore constitutional order in the republic.
Citing fraud in the 28 March national parliamentary election, Georgian election officials had ordered that a rerun be held in two Adjar districts. But the regional leadership accused the Georgian government of seeking to manipulate the vote.
Adjar leader Aslan Abashidze's Democratic Revival Union failed to win enough votes to enter the national parliament but made a strong showing in Adjaria.
The Central Election Commission said final results of last month's polls will be published on 19 April.
(Novosti gruziya/Prime News/Reuters)