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Georgians Go To The Polls
January 06, 2008 19:02 GMT
Photos from RFE/RL, AFP, and IPN.
Voters across the country braved the cold weather and the snow to vote in the early presidential election. The poll was called after antigovernment protests and a government crackdown in November.
Incumbent President Mikheil Saakashvili, seen here exiting a polling booth in Tbilisi, is the favorite to win. The election is seen as a referendum on Saakashvili and the 2003 Rose Revolution.
An election campaign poster in Tbilisi with Saakashvili's ballot number. Saakashvili has dominated state TV coverage and has been accused of unfairly using "administrative resources."
Mikheil Saakashvili waves to supporters in Tbilisi early on election day.
Unified opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze exits a polling booth in Tbilisi on election day. Gachechiladze, who is considered the strongest challenger to Saakashvili, has said that if elected he will abolish the presidency and form a parliamentary republic.
Police officers cast their votes at a polling station in Tbilisi. The security forces were criticized in Georgia and abroad for their heavy-handed response to November protests.
Election observers warm themselves around a stove in a polling station in the village of Tokhliauri, about 60 kilometers from Tbilisi. In addition to domestic observers, the OSCE sent more than 300 monitors to monitor the vote.
Members of election commissions took ballot boxes to the homes of elderly and infirm voters many places, as here in the village of Tokhliauri.
This elderly lady in Tbilisi votes at home.
Alcee L. Hastings, the head of the OSCE observer monitoring group at a news conference in Tbilisi on January 6. A group made up of officials from the OSCE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and the European Union said the presidential election met international standards despite some irregularities. Hastings is also a U.S. congressman.
But despite the international observers' verdict, protesters took to the streets. In Tbilisi on January 6, they raise portraits of main opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze.
Levan Gachechiladze -- currently running behind Saakashvili in the election -- addresses supporters during a demonstration in Tbilisi on January 6.
A supporter of Gachechiladze at the demonstration in Rike Square in Tbilisi.
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