Following the announcement of diverging preliminary exit poll results by four Georgian TV-channels, both the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition’s United National Movement, leading the race in 2020 parliamentary elections, congratulated their supporters.
Albeit showing significantly different results, the exit polls put the ruling GD party in the lead with over 40% of votes and far ahead of its closest rival UNM, former ruling party of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. Exit poll by pro-governmental Imedi TV gave GD 55% of votes, while UNM came second with 23%.
Georgian Dream Chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili congratulated supporters gathered outside the party headquarters in old Tbilisi on GD’s third consecutive victory in the parliamentary elections.
Congratulating to “the Georgian people on achieving another important milestone in Georgia‘s democratic development,” incumbent PM Giorgi Gakharia, GD’s prime-ministerial hopeful, said “we owe a debt of gratitude to all Georgians who cast their vote to chart our nation’s future. Today is your victory.”
We are grateful to our intl partners & all observers for their commitment to 🇬🇪's democracy. Our intl partners were integral to the process of enacting electoral reforms that increased proportional representation and political pluralism. @UKinGeorgia @EUinGeorgia @usingeo
— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) October 31, 2020
Incumbent Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze, GD’s Speaker hopeful for another four years, dubbed the party’s success as “truly historic win.” “We are set to work on our European future in the best interests of our people,” he tweeted.
🇬🇪 We are grateful to the Georgian citizens whose voice was clearly heard today in fair, free and democratic elections. We are set to work on our European future in the best interests of our people. #Gvote2020 pic.twitter.com/dCA5F3VsOm
— Archil Talakvadze (@A_Talakvadze) October 31, 2020
In the meantime, the leaders and supporters of the United National Movement party gathered outside the Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare, have been also celebrating preliminary exit poll results, albeit that of commissioned by pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV. The latter gave GD 41%, while UNM came second close with 33%.
The opposition remains hopeful that although GD came first, the opposition parties, not GD, will manage to form the new coalition government.
UNM’s Petre Tsiskarishvili, former MP, said that “it is clear from these exit polls that pro-Western opposition has secured confident victory in the capital city as well as in entire Georgia.”
European Georgia, an opposition party that, according to exit polls, is expected to come third in the race, presented its own poll results in a press conference, giving the ruling party 37,4%, UNM 28,9%, and securing 10% for themselves.
According to party chairman MP Davit Bakradze, preliminary results show that “Georgian Dream did not secure more than half of the votes and it does not enjoy the trust mandate of Georgian people in the proportional part [of elections].”
However, Bakradze remained cautious about the exit polls due to possible discrepancies and stressed the importance of final vote tabulation by the Central Election Commission (CEC).
Giorgi Vashadze, leader of Strategy Agmashenebeli, also warned its supporters against jumping to conclusions based on exit poll results, adding that half of the surveyed in the polls abstained from naming their choices, “which means that, ultimately, we will have completely different results.”
Follow our Election Live Blog for more updates on the upcoming October 31 parliamentary elections.