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Independent Presidential Candidate Zourabichvili to Reporters: “Shake your Brains”

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 16
Independent Presidential Candidate, former Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili, who may be supported by the Georgian Dream ruling party in the upcoming October 28 race, told journalists today “shake your brains” after she was irritated by the questions about the location of the president after the elections.

“I have already answered; you can rewind and listen to it. I have expressed my opinion and you, journalists, shake your brains and look into it,” Zurabishvili said, who believes that it is not right the president to live in the Avlabari “huge” residence when the president is no longer a decision-maker in many directions.

Rustavi 2 private broadcaster journalist told her after the remark that she [Zourabichvili] had no right to offend journalists, on which Zourabichvili responded: “you are right.”

Zourabochvili’s comment has caused a large-scale outcry on social networks, with many saying that the Georgian Dream must not support the candidate.

The same day Zourabichvili announced that she would consult with the ruling party about the support.

Defence Minister Levan Izoria said that in the next week the Georgian Dream would announce its position for the upcoming elections.

The Georgian Dream will either support of some of the independent candidates in the elections or none, as they stated about a month ago.

The Georgian Dream announced then that they would have no candidate in the elections, especially in the situation when the president in Georgia has not much power, unlike the prime minister.

Zourabichvili,66, was born in Paris, into a family of Georgian political emigrants. She attended some of the most prestigious French schools, such as the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and began a master's program at Columbia University in New York in the academic year of 1972-1973.

She quit her studies and joined the French foreign service in 1974, becoming a career diplomat with jobs in Rome, the United Nations, Brussels, and Washington.

The first time Zourabichvili visited Georgia was in 1986 during a break from her job at the French Embassy in Washington.

Zourabichvili was Head of the Division of International and Strategic Issues of National Defence General Secretariat of France in 2001-2003. She was appointed as the Ambassador of France to Georgia in 2003.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the 3rd President of Georgia nominated her as Foreign Minister in his new government and Zourabichvili was the first female to be appointed to this post in Georgia on 18 March 2004.

Former Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli fired her in October 2005, after a series of disputes with members of parliament.

Shortly before her dismissal, Zourabichvili resigned from the French foreign service, which had continued to pay her a salary while she was a minister, and announced that she would remain in Georgia to go into politics.

In November 2005, she set up the organization Salome Zourabichvili’s Movement. In January 2006, she announced the establishment of a new political party Georgia's Way.

On 12 November 2010, Zourabichvili announced her withdrawal from the leadership of Georgia's Way and continued her career abroad, as a coordinator of UN panel of experts on Iran.

In the 2016 parliamentary elections in Georgia, now under the Georgian Dream leadership, Zourabichvili participated as Tbilisi Mtatsminda District majoritarian candidate and won the race, took her seat in the legislative body.

The Georgian Dream ruling party did not name its candidate in Mtatsminda, gave the green light to Zourabichvili.