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'First Win Polls, Then Offer Coalition' - Opposition Tells Saakashvili
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Jan.'08 / 14:07

Mikheil Saakashvili has no right to offer a coalition-type government to the opposition, unless there is a recount to prove his win, opposition politicians said on Wednesday.

Saakashvili, who according to preliminary official results has been re-elected with 52.21% of the vote, said on January 8 that he was ready to include political opponents in his new government. The opposition, however, refuses to recognise Saakashvili’s victory, claiming that a run-off is needed.

“If Mikheil Saakashvili really wants to take a step towards his people and the opposition, he should agree to a vote recount in order to legalize the election result,” MP Kakha Kukava of the Conservative Party, part of the nine-party opposition coalition, told Rustavi 2 TV on January 9. “We are ready to recognize this legal result, regardless of who is the winner.”

The coalition backs Levan Gachechiladze, who according to preliminary results, follows Saakashvili with 25.26%.

Echoing MP Kukava’s remarks, a lawmaker from the New Rights Party, Manana Nachkebia, said that Saakashvili should first prove that he really has won the election.

“Our political party is willing to engage in cooperation, if Mikheil Saakashvili is legally elected president,” MP Nachkebia said.

New Rights Party leader Davit Gamkrelidze, himself a candidate, earlier conceded defeat and said that Gachechiladze and Saakashvili should run in the second round.

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