Eurasia Insight reports that the early returns from Georgia suggest that President Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) may win a two-thirds majority in parliament.
The returns cover about two-thirds of all polling station and they suggest that the UNM won 58.8% of the proportional vote. Given half of Georgia’s 150-seat parliament is elected through a single-member plurality system and given the UNM’s support seems to be fairly constant across the country with the exception of Tbilisi, this should mean that the party picks up the vast majority of those seats, and, of course, it will do well in the PR element of the election too.
The nine-party United Opposition Movement is reported to have won about 18.8%, the new Christian Democratic party is reported at 8.5% and the Labor Party at 7.4%. Another party, the Republicans does not look as if it will pass the 5% threshold necessary for representation, though it may win a handful of single-member seats.
The opposition argues that the election was not conducted fairly and contests the results. Eurasia Insight reports that International electoral observers have assessed the voting process as good or very good at 92% of the 1,500 polling stations visited. However, the vote count is usually the most contested process in Georgia and 22% of the international observers surveyed found polling stations’ vote count to be bad or very bad. There had been fears of mass protests against the results, but these did not materialise.