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Presidential elections are over

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 29
The October 27 presidential election has ended. Although the official results from the Central Election Commission (CEC) are not known yet, there is no doubt who the winner is. Almost all the questions have been answered. The results decided the president in the first round; a second round was not required.

The representative of the Georgian Dream coalition, Giorgi Margvelashvili, won the presidential race in a landslide. According to the preliminary data, Marvelashvili collected more than 60% of the votes. Second came the United National Movement (UNM)’s Davit Bakradze with around 20% of the votes. Presumably, the election was riddled with frustration for the Democratic Movement-United Georgia’s Nino Burjanadze who came in third with around 10% of the votes. Burjanadze used to claim with deep confidence that she would finish second. However, she barely reached double-digit support.

The Georgian Dream coalition keeps talking about the democratic standards of the election. Almost nobody challenges the fairness of the election. Only the Labor Party’s Shalva Natelashvili who received about 2%, announced irresponsibly that the coalition and UNM plotted against him and his party and indeed he is the winner of the presidential elections. Of course, this is purely delusional.

The CEC announced that by 8 pm October 27 all the polling stations were closed and the voters turnout was 46.6%, which is not a bad figure. However, it is much lower than it was during last year’s parliamentary election when the turnout was 61.31%.

All the current results are provided based on the exit polls and preliminary calculations. Later that evening, presidential candidates Burjanadze, Targamadze and Natelashvili criticized the results of exit polls. Burjanadze’s supporters, in particular, claimed that manipulations were used by the coalition when it became clear that the second round could become necessary between Burjanadze and Margvelashvili.

Of course, such allegations need to be proved. However, observers both local and international believe that the election was held fairly with no manipulations. Though some minor faults have been identified, overall they could not have influenced the results of the election.

So, this intrigue is over. On November 17, the new president of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, form the Georgian Dream coalition will be inaugurated, but considerable intrigue remains. Who will be the new Prime Minister? Leaders of the coalition say that the name will become public in a week. The second intrigue is the future steps of the former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who will become an ordinary citizen of Georgia without presidential immunity after Margvelashvili officially becomes the president. Will Saakashvili stay in politics? Will he be charged for abuses? Will he go into exile and lecture at different universities abroad or write a book of memories?