GEORGIA ELECTIONS TURNOUT REACHES 20% AS OF 11 A.M.

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TBILISI, January 4 (RIA Novosti) - As of 11 a.m. Moscow time, 20% of voters turned out at polling stations in Georgia, Zurab Chiaberashvili, chief of Georgia's Central Election Commission, told a press conference.

This is a very poor turnout, as voters go to polling stations in the morning, while in the evening the turnout tends to decrease, Novosti-Georgia reports, quoting Mr Chiaberashvili.

The presidential elections began today at 8 a.m. local time. The elections are being held all across Georgia, including in its autonomy of Adjaria. The self-proclaimed republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, except the latter's village of Tamarasheni, have decided to abstain from elections.

Georgia is holding early presidential elections after president Eduard Shevardnadze was forced to resign in the wake of mass protests against falsification of the parliamentary elections results.

The presidential elections will be declared valid if the turnout reaches more than 50%.

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