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Early vote count shows opposition leads in Georgia election

PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Supporters celebrate in the Georgian capital, as initial results suggest the opposition is ahead in the country's parliamentary election. Led by billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, the coalition Georgian Dream claimed victory over the ruling party. Ivanishvili said he was hoping for 100 seats in parliament. SOUNDBITE: GEORGIAN OPPOSITION LEADER BILLIONAIRE BIDZINA IVANISHVILI, SAYING (Georgian): "The Georgian people have shown their great culture, their great wisdom. Everything happened exactly as the people and the country needed. I think an interesting precedent happened in Georgian history today: for the first time in our long history we have changed our government through elections." The early results raised the prospect of a tense stand-off, as both main parties claimed a majority. In the town of Khashuri scuffles erupted as armed men forced their way into two polling stations. Local media said tear gas and rubber bullets had been used - although the authorities denied the claims. The Election Commission said there had been no grave violations during the voting.

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