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Georgia: New Vote To Be Held In Some Districts As Nearly 10 Percent Of Vote Declared Invalid

Tbilisi, 10 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Georgia election officials, citing procedural violations, say they have thrown out election results in almost 10 percent of the country's voting districts and set new votes in the districts for 16 November. Meanwhile, the party of President Eduard Shevardnadze (pictured) leads the election. The small number of votes affected is unlikely to appease opposition politicians and demonstrators who say that Shevardnadze and his supporters rigged the election.

The Central Election Commission reported today that Shevardnadze's For a New Georgia bloc leads with 21 percent of the vote in the 2 November parliamentary elections. The opposition Revival party, which often votes with the government on key issues, took slightly over 19 percent, and the anti-Shevardnadze National Movement polled nearly 19 percent.

Shevardnadze met yesterday with National Movement leader Mikhail Saakashvili and other opponents in an effort to defuse continuing demonstrations protesting against the elections, but the talks ended without evident result.