TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Preliminary results in Georgia's presidential election show the billionaire prime minister's candidate winning with 62 percent of the vote.
Former university rector Giorgi Margvelashi's victory in Sunday's election consolidates the power of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili in this U.S.-aligned former Soviet republic.
The results posted by Georgia's Central Election Commission on Monday, with more than 90 percent of precincts counted, are in line with exit polls.
The candidate from outgoing President Mikhail Saakashvili's party finished second with 22 percent, which is higher than expected.
Saakashvili did not wait for the official results to congratulate his successor.
Ivanishvili has kept Georgia on track toward greater European integration and maintained close ties with the United States.