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Alleged election malfeasance protested in Georgian capital

Supporters of opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze wave Georgian flags during a rally in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Several thousand Georgians have protested against the election of the ruling party-backed candidate Salome Zurabishvili to the presidency. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Thousands of opposition protesters took to the streets of Georgia’s capital to dispute the result of a recent presidential election and to call for an early parliamentary election.

The protesters marched with sacks of onions and potatoes on Sunday to mock what they claim were government efforts to bribe voters by distributing free vegetables. Opposition leaders claim the government tilted the vote in the winning candidate’s favor.

Official returns showed former Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili won the Nov. 28 presidential runoff with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Grigol Vashadze, pulled in just over 40 percent.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has said the election was administered well, but that state resources were misused in the campaign and “one side enjoyed an undue advantage.”

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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