98% Georgians living abroad voted for Saakashvili

According to Georgian Central Election Committee, the opposition coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili «Georgian Dream» holds the lead in the parliamentary elections on proportional lists with 54.1% after processing of 47.9% of protocols. United National Movement of President Mikhail Saakashvili won 41.03%.

«Information on results of the elections coming from Georgia shows that the population of this country wants change,» Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev commented on the developments. «If these results are real, the political landscape of Georgia will be more diversified. We welcome this process, as more constructive and responsible forces might appear in the parliament.»

However, the Russian authorities don't comment on Georgian elections willingly. At the same time, representatives of non-governmental Diaspora organizations comment on the situation eagerly. The leader of the movement «Georgia’s Voice – For Fair Elections!» Taimuraz Shengelia held a press-conference and noted the high voting turnout. «The voting turnout was 60.8%. It marks a high activeness of Georgian population. The highest rate was registered in Tbilisi – 64% - and some regions of Northern Georgia. 2 million 191 thousand voters participated in the elections, which is 61% of the total number of registered voters.»

Commenting on the participation of Georgian Diasporas in the elections, Shengelia said: «43 thousand people were registered. According to our information, more than 800 thousand Georgians live abroad and have the right to vote, 400 thousand of them live in Russia. But we had no opportunity to vote because of the absence of ballot stations. We organized a protest demonstration in front of our Georgia consulship, and people came. Of course, it was symbolic voting. The authorities achieved what they want in migrated circles: they registered a minimal number of people, about 5%, and gained 98% of support from them. It seems they realized that in Russia Georgians do not support the power in Tbilisi (however, there are people who support the authorities, and people who support the opposition). Considering the attitudes of our citizens, we can state firmly that if an appropriate number of ballot stations were established in Russia, the opposition’s victory would be much more impressive. It is a historic victory. In the last eight years we had no real opposition. The opposition existed, but it couldn’t compete with the power. The authorities couldn’t allow this and used its huge administrative resource. But the situation has changed dramatically in few weeks, since September 18 when a drastic video of tortures in prisons of Georgia was shown. It was a breaking point in the election campaign.»

Shengelia predicted the situation in Georgia: «We should admit the opposition’s victory, according to preliminary data. Passion covered Georgia. Not only whole Tbilisi, but other major cities came onto the streets. It was a national festival. We hope that at last real changes and real reforms will take place in Georgia, and we will get a true democratic and free country and a big hope that the central question of the foreign policy – normalization of relations with Russia – will be settled by the new parliament, and then the new president of Georgia, because it is the most important question for us. The reforms provided by Saakashvili didn’t achieve their target. It is a decorative democracy, it’s not real. I mean violation of human rights, absence of justice and order. Only empty slogans, slander, and lie. If I was asked to comment on Saakashvili’s activity for 8-9 years in one sentence, I would say: «He extended limits of lie, hatred, and illegalness.»

Adapted from vestnikkavkaza.net