The Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC) has registered Mikhail Saakashvili as a candidate for the country's presidency at the early election to be held on Jan. 5, CEC Chairman Levan Tarkhnishvili told journalists in Tbilisi Friday.
Saakashvili, who was elected president in January 2004 with a five-year tenure, resigned on Nov. 25 in order to run for president.
"The United National Movement party that nominated Saakashvili as a presidential candidate was the first (on Dec. 4) to submit the lists of electorate signatures necessary for the registration and CEC representatives have checked the lists in recent days," Tarkhnishvili was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
"The CEC members have not found problems in the presented lists, therefore the issue of the official registration of Saakashvili asa presidential candidate was considered," Tarkhnishvili said.
The early presidential election was approved by the Georgian parliament after Saakashvili resigned from the post of head of state on Nov. 25.
A total of 13 potential candidates have submitted signatures from the electorate. The CEC registered Saakashvili first. All the other candidates submitted the electorate signatures on Dec. 6 and it will take one to two days to check them. The registration process is to be completed before Dec. 11.
The deadline for the submission of signatures of 50,000 electors to the CEC needed for the official registration of the presidential candidates expired in Georgia Thursday.
Besides Saakashvili, the main candidates also include Levan Gachechiladze, a single candidate from the National Council of Opposition Parties, David Gamkrelidze, leader of New Rightists party, Shalva Natelashvili, head of the Labour Party and businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili, nominated by a group of citizens.
On December 4, Saakashvili became the first of the presidential candidates whose headquarters' representatives submitted to the CEC signatures of the electorate. A total of 140,000 signatures insupport of Saakashvili were presented to the CEC.
Over the past two days, representatives of two other main candidates announced they had completed the collection of signatures Thursday. They said they collected much more signatures than the required 50,000.
The Georgian opposition Monday asked the West to press Georgian authorities to secure free and democratic presidential elections.
A Georgian court Thursday lifted a government ban on pro-opposition television station Imedi, bowing to Western pressure to allow the channel back on air before next month's presidential election,
The TV station was shut down after violent street protests in early November, said a court spokesperson.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Aralık 2007, 16:56