TBILISI, Georgia — Under a boycott by the opposition, the South Caucasus republic of Georgia on Saturday held its last round of parliamentary elections, which were accompanied by protests.

There were still 17 seats to fill in parliament, for which only candidates from the ruling Georgian Dream party were standing.

Originally there was supposed to have been a run-off election. The opposition, which did not recognize the Oct. 31 election and does not want to work in the new parliament, boycotted the vote, meaning the overall turnout was low.

When casting her vote in Tbilisi, President Salome Zurabishvili said she was hoping for an "effective, businesslike parliament with many parties."

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia called on the opposition to move the political discussion from the streets to parliament. "No matter how great the disagreements are between us, we should try to talk to each other, work together — and learn to take responsibility," he said.

The leaders of eight opposition parties had previously accused the authorities of manipulating the election and refused to participate in parliament.

The new parliament would therefore be paralyzed when it comes to important decisions, for example about the budget.

The ruling party won with 48% of the vote. The opposition United National Movement of former president Mikheil Saakashvili landed in second place with 27.1%.

Saakashvili, who is in Ukraine, has been convicted in his home country of abuse of office and is now on a wanted list.

International election observers had described the vote as free and fair overall and saw no serious violations.

Voting was based on a new electoral system: 120 lawmakers are elected by proportional representation, while the other 30 are determined in their respective constituencies according to the principle of majority voting.

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