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Q&A: Georgia presidential election

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image copyrightAP
image captionPolitical tensions have often spilled onto Georgia's streets

Georgians vote on Sunday to elect a successor to strongly pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is stepping down after 10 years in power.

The frontrunner is a close ally of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Mr Saakashvili's bitter rival, while the candidate of the incumbent president's party is polling a distant second.

Mr Ivanishvili's win in the parliamentary elections last year ushered in the former Soviet republic's first legal transfer of power. He himself intends to resign within weeks of this vote and leave public office.

image copyrightReuters
image captionPosters of two frontrunners - Nino Burjanadze (top) and Giorgi Margvelashvili - in Tbilisi

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  • Georgia country profile