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Georgia elects first female president

Salome Zurabishvili has won the presidential election, - Central Election Commission
12:04, 29 November 2018

Radio Liberty

Independent candidate Salome Zurabishvili supported by the ruling party “Georgian Dream” (billioner Bidzina Ivanishvili is its main sponsor), wins the presidential election in Georgia, as the Central Election Commission reported.

99,7% of the ballots were counted, Zurabishvili got 59,56% of the popular votes and her opponent, Grigol Vashadze from the opposition party “United National Movement” got 40,44% of the votes.

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The exit polls held by Gallup predicted the victory of Zurabishvili with 58% of the votes.

The final voter turnout made 56,23% at the second round of the presidential election in Georgia.

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Both candidates who passed to the second round of the election are the former foreign ministers in the government of Mikhail Saakashvili. They are united by the lack of sympathy to Russia and course on the rapprochement with the EU and NATO.

Future president of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili is a daughter of the Georgian migrants; she was born in France. She has both French and Georgian citizenships, however, she refused from her French passport. She worked at the French Foreign Ministry since 1974, and she also served as an Ambassador in Tbilisi. Mikhail Saakashvili, who occupied the post of the president at that moment, invited her to head the foreign ministry.

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Grigol Vashadze, the underdog opponent, is considered to be an ally of Saakashvili. He has been living in Russia for a long time and had the Russian citizenship but he returned to the homeland. The loss of Vashadze puts the kibosh on the pardoning of ex-president of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili, who lives in the Netherlands at the moment. He is accused of different corruption crimes in Georgia.

In 2017, the Georgian Parliament approved a new Constitution that turned Georgia into a parliamentarian republic. It means the president's powers will be considerably limited. The 2024 presidential election will be assigned by the election committee shaped of 300 officials.

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