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Saakashvili votes in testing election

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili casts his ballot in a parliamentary election seen as a challenge for his ruling party. Tensions are high amid the elections after a prison abuse scandal has turned the vote into the biggest test of Saakashvili's grip on the Caucasus mountain nation in nearly a decade in power. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GEORGIAN PRESIDENT MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI SAYING: "This is a very important election for Georgia, for the region, I think. Lots of things are being decided right now in our country for the region, for the development, for the future of not only this nation but what happens to the European dream in this part of the world, what happens to the idea of democracy in this part of the world." Saakashvili, a pro-Western leader who swept to the presidency after the bloodless Rose Revolution of 2003 and fought a five-day war with Russia in 2008, hopes to head off a challenge led by a once-reclusive tycoon, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

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