Georgia Opposition Celebrate Election "Victory"

Thousands of opposition supporters flooded the center of Georgia's capital of Tbilisi to celebrate as exit polls put their Georgian Dream coalition ahead in Monday's crucial parliamentary elections.

"We have won! The Georgian people have won!" Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire who leads Georgian Dream, said in a speech broadcast on an opposition TV channel.

But with the official results yet to be announced, the opposition's celebrations could prove premature.

President Mikheil Saakashvili, who leads the ruling United National Movement (UNM), admitted on state television that Georgian Dream was ahead in the vote in Tbilisi, but said his coalition was winning convincingly in the regions.

"But this does not mean we will split the country between Tbilisi and the regions," Saakashvili said. "We are all citizens of Georgia and we must stand side-by-side."

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