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Former Georgian Election Chief To Launch New Political Group

Zurab Kharatishvili
Zurab Kharatishvili
The former chairman of Georgia's Central Electoral Commission, Zurab Kharatishvili, says he stepped down from the post this week to start a new centrist political group.

Kharatishvili told journalists that the new group's program will be officially made public on August 20.

He called media reports about his intention to take part in the October 27 presidential election "premature," adding that he had not made any decision yet.

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 parliament after elections in October to Ivanishvili's coalition.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

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