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Polls open in Georgia to elect new president

ROUGH CUT. (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Georgian voters headed to the polls on Sunday (October 27) to elect a new president to replace Mikheil Saakashvili's decade-long rule and test confidence in the ruling Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Polls opened at 0800 local time (0400GMT). Voters filed into a central Tbilisi polling station to cast their votes, as election workers guided them to the clear ballot boxes and marked their fingers with ink to confirm they voted. Twenty-three candidates are vying for the position, but of those 23, the front-runner in Sunday's poll is Georgy Margvelashvili, a confidant of Ivanishvili, whose coalition ousted Saakashvili's cabinet in a parliamentary election last year. Victory for the 44-year-old philosopher would cement Georgian Dream's grip on power. But the clarity may not last long as Ivanishvili, a billionaire businessman and fierce political enemy of Saakashvili, ha

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