Georgia elects deputies to national parliament

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 28, 2004 Sunday 1:17 AM Eastern Time

Georgia elects deputies to national parliament

By Eka Mekhuzla


Georgia started general elections on Sunday at 08.00 local time. The
voting will be held till 20.00 at 2,841 polling stations, out of
which 265 are located in the Adzharia Autonomous Republic. Another 26
polls operate abroad, including four in Russia (three in Moscow and
one in St. Petersburg).

Voters are to elect 150 deputies according to proportional party
lists. The above seats are contested by 11 political parties and five
blocs. The elections will be pronounced valid if a third of voters go
to the polls.

The election results according to proportional party lists, held on
November 2, 2003, were made null and void by the Supreme Court on
November 25. The results of polls of 75 deputies, elected by the
majoritarian system, were not appealed and remain in force.

Ballot papers are printed not only in the Georgian, but also in
Azerbaijan and Armenian languages. The last ones were dispatched to
the areas Kvem Kartli (Eastern Georgia) and Samtskhe-Dzhavakheti
(south of the country) where the Azerbaijan and Armenian ethnic
groups predominate.

The republican Central Election Commission took this decision due to
the fact that not all Georgian citizens of these ethnic groups,
especially in the countryside, know Georgian well enough. Some 84
percent of the country’s population are Georgians, 6.5 percent –
Azerbaijanis and 5.7 percent are Armenians.