Ruling party leads in Georgia’s parliamentary vote: Exit polls

The Georgian Dream party secures a minimum number of votes necessary to form a one-party government, according to various exit polls.

Supporters of the ruling Georgian Dream party wave a flag from a car after exit polls were announced [Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters]

The ruling Georgian Dream party is in the lead in a parliamentary election in the south Caucasian republic of Georgia, according to four exit polls.

All polls after voting ended on Saturday put the opposition United National Movement in second place, while several other opposition parties managed to clear the 1 percent threshold.

Georgian Dream claimed victory but the opposition parties have not conceded defeat yet, saying in total the opposition received enough votes to form a coalition government.

The ruling party, founded by former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, secured 55 percent of the votes, according to exit polls commissioned by Imedi TV.

Another poll by Rustavi 2 media network said the ruling party was poised to win with 52.26 percent of votes, while Mtavari Arkhi television network said the Georgian Dream was leading with 41 percent.

Formula media also published a survey showing a 46 percent lead for the ruling party.

The official results are expected on Sunday.

People queue outside a polling station during Georgia’s parliamentary election in Tbilisi [Vano Shlamov/AFP]

Georgia is a parliamentary republic so the party that controls parliament is essentially the one that governs.

Voters cast ballots to elect 120 deputies in the 150-member parliament through proportional party lists – a significant jump from 77 such seats allocated by its earlier system.

The remaining 30 MPs – instead of 73 – were picked as majoritarians from single-mandate constituencies.

The constitutional amendment approved in June requires 40.6 percent of votes for the formation of a one-party government.

Georgia, a former Soviet republic, aspires to join the Western military alliance NATO and further strengthen integration with the European Union.

Following a 2008 war, Georgia severed diplomatic ties with Russia.

Georgian Dream dominated the last two parliamentary elections, in 2012 and 2016.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies