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Candidate Calls on Opposition to Unite in Polls

Irina Sarishvili, an underdog presidential candidate, has called on the opposition to agree on a single candidate to jointly challenge Mikheil Saakashvili in the January 5 election.


“I want to urge the opposition to agree on a single candidate, they can still do this until tomorrow evening,” Sarishvili said at a press conference on January 2. “Otherwise, this mismanaged opposition, along with the authorities, will have to assume the responsibility for the consequences that may be come on January 5 and afterwards.” She also said that she was willing to withdraw from the race in favor of any single opposition candidate.


The opposition vote is divided between Levan Gachechiladze, backed by the nine-party opposition coalition; Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of New Rights Party and Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of Labor Party. Underdog presidential candidate Giorgi Maisashvili, leader of the Party of Future, is also expected to take some opposition votes.
 
Business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili said he would withdraw from the race, but he wouldn’t officially ask the Central Election Commission (CEC) to strike his name off the list of presidential candidates until January 4, just one day before polling day.

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