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Georgia poll chief resigns

Tbilisi, Nov. 28 (Reuters): The head of Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC), heavily criticised by the Opposition after a November 2 parliamentary election marred by fraud, resigned today, a spokesman for the commission said.

It was not immediately clear who would replace Nana Devdariani, said CEC spokesman Nika Chakhnakia.

Devdariani was appointed by Eduard Shevardnadze, the Georgian President who stood down on Sunday in the face of mass street demonstrations called in protest at the polls, which gave victory to his supporters.

Her decision to step down as head of the country’s election supervisory body came as parliament considered revisions to the electoral code ahead of a January 4 presidential election sparked by Shevardnadze’s resignation.

Mikhail Saakashvili, who spearheaded the campaign to force the former Soviet foreign minister to step down, is widely expected to win the ballot. Saakashvili, a 35-year-old US-educated lawyer, has confidently predicted victory in the polls.

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