Georgia's runoff polls for local bodies kick off


Polling in Georgia's second-round election runoffs began on Saturday to determine which party will control the country's five major cities, including the capital Tbilisi.

The ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition United National Movement are competing in the polls, which started at 8 a.m. local time (0400GMT) and will close at 8 p.m. (1600GMT), with preliminary results to be announced later in the night.

On Oct. 2, Georgia held its first round of municipal elections to elect 64 mayors and 2,068 city council members.

No mayoral candidate in the country's five largest cities, including Tbilisi, and a total of 20 municipalities could pass the 50% threshold.

According to official results announced by the Georgian Central Election Commission, the ruling party received 46.74% of the vote in the first round.

The main opposition leader and former President Mikheil Saakashvili's opposition United National Movement took second place with 30.67% of the vote.