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Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili is leading at the country's presidential
Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili is leading at the country's presidential elections with over 51% of the vote, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said Monday.

With results available on Georgia's CEC web site from 2,375 polling stations out of 3,512, Saakashvili has received 51.03% of the vote, while his top rival, united opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze is trailing far behind with 25.72%.

The two main candidates are followed by businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili with 6.65%, Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili with 6.52%, New Rightist leader David Gamkrelidze with 3.97%, and others gaining less than 1%.

The candidate who gains 50% plus one vote wins the election. If none of the candidates gains the necessary amount, the election commission will set the date for a runoff, to be held in two weeks.

In the second round, voters cast ballots for the two candidates who gained more than others in the first round. The candidate who wins not less than 20% of the total vote is considered elected.

Although the vote count is still continuing, experts believe that with Saakashvili's current lead, the prospect of the second round becomes highly unlikely.


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