Europe Georgia's elections pit anti-Russian president versus conciliatory challenger

Georgia's parliamentary elections, setting President Mikheil Saakashvili's party against opposition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, are the most hotly contested in the country's modern era.

David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Since coming to power in 2004, Georgia’s ruling United National Movement party (UNM) has maintained a strong monopoly in the government. It has been impervious to mass opposition movements, and even a Russian invasion.