Nino Burjanadze, the leader of the opposition, non-parliamentary Democratic Movement Georgia party, which is often affiliated with Russia, says she boycotts the elections and will not run the presidential race to be held on October 28.
Presidential Candidate Burjanadze Boycotts Elections
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, September 11
Burjanadze made her decision after the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party announced they will support another female candidate, an independent MP, Salome Zourabichvili.
The opposition party leader believes that the upcoming presidential election is a farce and it makes no sense to take part in it.
The politician says that the fate of the future election has already been decided by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of the ruling GD party and its chair, who is often referred as the “informal ruler” of the country.
“I will not participate in elections, but I will fight for real changes, for fair parliamentary elections to change this degrading oligarchic governance,” she stressed.
“I will create the power to force the authorities either to change the electoral environment and conduct democratic elections or to leave the government. Yes, we will change this government. But of course, the society should be ready for this fight, and people should stand beside us," she added.
Burjanadze slammed the current government, saying they are trying to destroy the institution of the president in the country.
“Unfortunately, people did not protest the deliberate destruction of this institution. The society could not understand that this fact weakened the country and strengthened the oligarch's power and it served the interests of one man and not the society and the people. Significant systemic changes are necessary to save Georgia,” she stressed.
Nino Burjanadze served as Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia from November 2001 to June 2008.
As the first woman she has served as the acting head of state of Georgia twice; the first time from 23 November 2003 to 25 January 2004 in the wake of Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation during the Rose Revolution, and again from 25 November 2007 to 20 January 2008, when then-president Mikheil Saakashvili stepped down to rerun in the early presidential elections. She withdrew into opposition to Saakashvili as the leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party in 2008.
In October 2013, Burjanadze ran for president in the October 2013 election. She ran against 22 candidates and ended third with 10 percent of the votes.