Georgia goes to the polls after abuse video scandal



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Georgia is going to the polls on Monday in a crucial day for the future of the country.
Tension is high after images of prison guard abusing inmates were broadcasted on national television. The scandal sparked protests across the country and damaged the government's reputation.

Earlier this year, the European Commission expressed its concern over Georgia's state of democracy and judicial system. Many international observers, including a handful of MEPs, are in the country to monitor the smooth running of the elections and avoid any possible fraud.

'There are quite crucial elections taking place in Georgia today. They are being observed by OSCE/ODIHR team. We expect our preliminary reports tomorrow, after which we will issue our reaction. We have made very clear that the expectations for this elections are extremely high and they will determine the intensity and pace of our relations with Georgia', said European Commission's spokerperson Maja Kocijancic.

The parliamentary elections will pose the biggest challange for incumbent President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been in power for almost 10 yeards and led the country in a short war with Russia in 2008. He has portrayed the elections as a choice between a Western-infuenced country or a Russia-dominated one.

The opposition leader, a billionaire bussinessman, vowed to use his wealth to fight poverty and wants to restore ties with Moscow.

Later next year, Georgia's parliament and prime minister will gain more power after constitutional changes will come into force.Distributed by

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