TBILISI, October 1 (Itar-Tass) — Forty-five polling stations have been prepared for the voting in the Georgian parliamentary elections in 36 countries. They are opening at 08:00, local time (for these countries). Those eligible Georgian citizens who are on the consular register will be able to cast their votes there.
According to the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC), in 31 countries one polling station is functioning, in Greece - 4 stations (Athens - 2, Thessaloniki – 2), in Ukraine - 3 (Kiev, Donetsk, Odessa) in Turkey - 3 (Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon), in the United States and Spain - 2 in each (Washington, New York, Madrid, Barcelona). In countries members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) the polling stations work in Armenia (Yerevan), Azerbaijan (Baku), Belarus (Minsk), Kazakhstan (Astana), Uzbekistan (Tashkent). Polling stations for the Georgian parliamentary elections also work in all three Baltic countries, as well as in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Egypt, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, France, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.
The CEC said that in these countries the total number of Georgian citizens who are on the consular register and have the right to vote is 42 thousand 613 people. In Georgia the number of eligible voters is 3 million, 613 thousand and 851 people. They can cast their vote at 3,719 polling stations.
The Georgian parliamentary election of October 1, 2012 is the 7th legislative election since the country’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The previous election was won by the United National Movement chaired by President Mikhail Saakashvili. The election is held according to a reformed electoral system agreed upon by the incumbent and several opposition parties in 2011. The new parliament will be relocated from the capital of Tbilisi to the country’s second largest city of Kutaisi later in 2012. A new government will also be formed following the scheduled 2013 presidential election as envisaged by the 2010 constitutional amendments.
On September 25 it was announced in Tbilisi that servicemen of the Georgian military contingent in Afghanistan have voted early. The country’s Defence Ministry reported that “special polling stations for soldiers” were organised in Afghanistan at Georgian military bases in the Helmand province. “In addition to the CEC members, the voting procedure in Afghanistan was monitored by representatives of the political parties and movements - Georgian Dream, European Democrats and United National Movement, the ministry reported. The number of Georgian troops in Afghanistan is 925 men (750 under the US contingent’s command in Helmand province, 175 troops - under the command of the French contingent in Kabul).