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Georgia's parliamentary elections will be held May 21, the presidential administration
Georgia's parliamentary elections will be held May 21, the presidential administration said Friday.

In line with Georgia's constitution, the country's leader announces the date for parliamentary elections two months before they are due to be held.

"Based on the results of the January 5, 2008 referendum and consultations with the opposition, the president issued an order fixing the election date as May 21," the administration said.

On March 12, Georgia's parliament adopted Constitutional amendments setting parliamentary elections for spring 2008.

New legal amendments to election legislation were also adopted increasing the number of lawmakers elected from single-member constituencies to 75 from 50, extending the parliamentary term and reducing the number of seats to 150 from the current 235, and lowering the election threshold from 7% to 5%.

Pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili was reelected on January 5 with 53% of the vote.

In November 2007, he was forced to step down after opposition protests in the capital turned violent and police brutally dispersed protesters demanding his resignation as president, a post he had occupied since early 2004, following the 2003 bloodless 'Rose' revolution that saw Eduard Shevardnadze removed from power.

The opposition says the election legislation amendments create unequal conditions for the ruling party and the opposition.


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