Today is the first runoff in Georgia's election history

Exit polls will reveal preliminary results at 8pm today. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 12 Jul 2014 - 08:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

Today is the day Georgian voters will return to polling stations to elect the Mayors of eight self-governing cities, as well as Governors (Gamgebelis) of 13 municipalities.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) held an early morning briefing at 8.30am today to inform election assistants about the process of the runoff elections.

CEC chairperson Tamar Zhvania said all elections precincts opened at 8am and so far, the runoff election was being held in peaceful circumstances.

She called on all eligible voters to actively participate in the elections and urge all the election stakeholders to ensure the conduct of free and peaceful elections.

The polling process will end at 8pm this evening after the CEC receives summary protocols from the Precinct Election Commissions.

"I would like to remind all electoral stakeholders that according to the election legislation, agitation is prohibited inside polling stations during Election Day. On July 12, it is also prohibited to air free or paid TV and/or radio advertisements and publish public opinion survey results 48 hours prior to Election Day and until 8pm on Election Day," Zhvania said.

During the polling day CEC will regularly provide information on voter turnout and polling process in general.

At each electoral station, each voter will receive one ballot paper (Mayoral or Gamgebeli) before they take their pick. All election precincts were well prepared and had received ballot papers, protocols and all the other necessary materials ahead of time.

The CEC announced the first sessions of the newly elected City Councils – Sakrebulos – would be held on July 14 and August 2.

After the first round of voting, results revealed the ruling Georgian Dream coalition gained 50.8 percent of votes, UNM gained 22.5 percent, while Nino Burjanadze - United Opposition got 10.2 percent.

Two candidates - Davit Narmania of Georgian Dream and Nika Melia of United National Movement (UNM) - will compete in the Tbilisi Mayoral runoff.

Latest figures revealed Narmania gained the highest number of votes (46.09 percent) in the initial election and would have to challenge Melia in the runoff, who gained 27.97 percent of votes in the June 15 election.

According to local law, a candidate must gain more than 50 percent of votes to win outright without a second round of voting being needed.

Meanwhile, final results saw ruling Georgian Dream coalition rank ahead of UNM for the party-list of the City Council, proportional contest.

Georgian Dream appeared likely to win the majority of seats in the 50-seat City Council, Sakrebulo, in Georgia’s capital city.

In Tbilisi’s Sakrebulo, half of the seats are distributed through party-list candidates and the remaining 25 seats are allocated to winners in the capital city’s 25 single-mandate constituencies.

Georgian Dream candidates won in 24 districts out of 25 single-mandate constituencies across Tbilisi. Election authorities said this meant Georgian Dream will have 13 of 25 available seats for the party-list, proportional representation, while UNM will have seven seats. Nino Burjanadze’s coalition will have three seats and the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia will have two seats.

Representatives of the relevant election subjects, as well as observers of international and local organizations and accredited media will observe the second round municipal elections.

"The credentials of the mentioned observers have been prolonged for the second round," Tamar Zhvania said.