FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016, file photo, voters collect their ballot papers at a polling station during a parliamentary election runoff in Tbilisi, Georgia. Oct. 28, 2018’s election will be the last time residents of the former Soviet republic of Georgia get to cast a ballot for president - that’s if any of the 25 candidates running gets an absolute majority. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov, File)

Georgians to vote in last direct election for president

October 27, 2018 - 8:48 am

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Sunday's election will be the last time residents of the former Soviet republic of Georgia get to cast a ballot for president — that's if any of the 25 candidates gets an absolute majority.

Opinion polls suggest that none of the candidates will exceed the 50 percent needed for a first-round victory and that the country on the Black Sea will have to choose between Sunday's two top candidates in a runoff that would be held by Dec. 1.

Under constitutional changes that began in 2010, Georgia is transitioning to being a parliamentary country. After the upcoming president's six-year term ends, future heads of state will be chosen by delegates. The presidency's powers already have been substantially reduced, with the prime minister becoming the country's most powerful politician.

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