Georgian president declares party victory
May 22,2008 00:00 by UPI
TBILISI, Georgia -- The president of Georgia declared victory for his party in the country's parliamentary elections, despite claims of vote-rigging by the opposition.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said he was told his United National Movement captured two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, reported Wednesday.

Exit polls predicted 63 percent of the vote would be for the president's party and a partial count apparently reflected the prediction, the news service said. Opposition candidates drew less than 16 percent of the vote, polls indicated.

Opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze, who once worked Saakashvili, had claimed victory just before the polls closed. He later said vote-rigging was reported across the country.

The Georgian Election Commission disputed his claim.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.