GEORGIA IS ELECTING ITS PARLIAMENT

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TBILISI, March 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti). The parliamentary elections in Georgia are being held without any serious law breaches. "The day began quietly, and no serious law breaches have been registered," said Zurab Chiaberashvili, chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), at a press conference.

In his words, there are some problems connected with the number of voters on the territory of Adzharia (one of the three autonomies of Georgia, which stays formally, unlike the two other autonomies, i.e., Abkhazia and South Ossetia, within Georgia, though Tbilisi constantly accuses Aslan Abashidze, Adzharia's leader, of separatism). "The exact number of voters in Adzharia is still unknown. We have sent 228,000 ballot-papers there, but the authorities are trying to persuade us that there are 300,000 voters in Adzharia," Chiaberashvili said.

The CEC head added that last night he decided to send 50,000 more ballot-papers to Batumi, Adzharia's capital.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Saakashvili, Georgia's president, is still in western Georgia where he took part in the election campaign of his political party, National Movement - Democrats. Under the law on elections, an election campaign stops at midnight before the election.

The Georgian president believes that serious law breaches on the territory of Adzharia are not ruled out after the polling stations are closed and the voting procedure is over. "There is a danger of riots after the closure of the polling stations. However, I would not advise anybody to fight against history," the president said in conclusion.

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