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Georgia's president concedes election defeat

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Oct. 2, 2012, 1:51 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili meets the media at a polling station in Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Voters in Georgia are choosing a new parliament in a heated election Monday that will decide the future of Saakashvili's government.
© AP

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has conceded defeat in the parliamentary election and says the opposition now has the right to form a government.

Speaking Tuesday on television, he said: "It's clear from the preliminary results that the opposition has the lead and it should form the government. And I as president should help them with this."

Early results show an opposition coalition led by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili with what appears to be an insurmountable lead as voters turned away from Saakashvili and the party that has been in power for almost nine years.

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