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Georgian Electoral Commission Chief Resigns

Zurab Kharatishvili
TBILISI -- The chairman of Georgia's Central Electoral Commission, Zurab Kharatishvili, has stepped down, two months ahead of the country's presidential election.

Commission spokeswoman Eka Azarashvili told journalists that the reasons for Kharatishvili's decision will be made public later this week.

Presidential candidates have until September 7 to file registration papers.

Politicians who have already declared their candidacy include former parliamentary speaker Davit Bakradze, who is a member of outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement, and Giorgi Margvelashvili, the candidate of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition.

Saakashvili's party lost control of the parliament after elections in October 2012 to Ivanishvili's coalition.

The presidential election is scheduled to take place on October 27.