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Early Exit Poll Results Show Saakashvili in Lead

Incumbent candidate Mikheil Saakashvili has won 52.5% of the vote, followed by Levan Gachechiladze, a candidate backed by the nine-party opposition coalition, with 28.5%, according to early exit poll results.

The exit polls, commissioned by four television stations, show tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili in third place, with 6%, followed by Shalva Natelashvili with 5.5%; Davit Gamkrelidze – 3.6%; Giorgi Maisashvili – 0.8%; Irina Sarishvili – 0.4%.

23% of respondents, however, refused to say for whom they had voted. This means, according to the organizers, a margin of error of 2%. They also stressed that the figures were provisional, with final results not expected for another few hours.
Four television stations – the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), Rustavi 2 TV, Mze TV and Adjara TV – jointly commissioned the exit polls for the January 5 presidential election and plebiscites.

The Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), Ilia Chavchavadze State University and two think-tanks – the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) managed the exit polls. Ukrainian Democratic Initiatives Foundation acted as a consultant.

Six local research groups – IPM, ACT, Sarke, ISSA, ISR, ARC – conducted the field work. The exit polls were carried out at 211 precincts throughout Georgia.

All opposition candidates have snubbed these exit polls, saying they are unreliable as organizers are allegedly linked to the authorities – an allegation strongly denied by the organizers.


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