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Georgian opposition rallies in Tbilisi against election results

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About 15,000 activists of the united Georgian opposition gathered in Tbilisi on Sunday to protest the January 5 presidential election results.
TBILISI, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - About 15,000 activists of the united Georgian opposition gathered in Tbilisi on Sunday to protest the January 5 presidential election results.

Georgia's central election commission on Sunday officially announced Mikheil Saakashvili as the winner of the early presidential poll in the South Caucasus republic with 53.47% of the vote while his nearest rival, united opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze, won 25.69% of the votes.

However, the Georgian opposition earlier said the election results were rigged and demanded a second round in the presidential elections. The Georgian opposition also said it would hold a 'peaceful' protest on January 13.

Early presidential elections were announced in Georgia after demonstrators had taken to the streets from November 2-7 demanding the resignation of President Saakashvili over corruption allegations. The protests were eventually put down by riot police, and Saakashvili subsequently announced early elections for January 5.

Saakashvili was elected as Georgian president following mass demonstrations during the country's 2003 "Rose" revolution, when former president Eduard Shevardnadze was swept from office following allegations of election fraud.

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