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The first press conference

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, October 29
Right after winning the presidential election on October 27, newly elected president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, and outgoing Prime Mistier, Bidzina Ivanishvili, held a press conference just after Election Day.

Ivanishvili called the presidential election unique and very European-like. The PM congratulated everyone and said that Georgia now has a president that has never had aspiration for power.

Ivanishvili also said that he is surprised how the United National Movement (UNM) could get that much support. “I cannot understand how 21% of population could still vote for the UNM, after the 9 years they have been through. It seems to me that the Georgian citizens do not have a political culture,” stressed the PM.

Margvelashvili agreed with the PM and said that the presidential election was perfectly held and added that he is happy to stand next to Ivanishvili in this process. According to him there is much work to be done in economics. “The fact that the president will no longer be the direct executor, as far as the country is moving to parliamentary governance system, is very good,” stated Margvelashvili and added that Ivanishvili’s opinion will always be meaningful to him.

The future president also talked about the Presidential Residence in Avlabari where his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili has lived during these years. “I am not going to work there. In my mind this residence must be for a field that is more public, than a residence for one high ranking political figure. I think that this property built by the people’s money must be given back to the people. This residence must be used by the people,” he said.

When asked if the second and third presidents of Georgia should attend his inauguration, Margvelashvili said he would be happy, if he will have the opportunity to attend the inauguration of a president who is elected after him.

Margvelashvili also talked about Saakashvili’s fate, stressing that no political pursuit will take place. However, he said he cannot defend anyone from criminal law, if there is evidence against him.

PM Ivanishvili presumes that his substitute will be nominated by the end of this week. He said that on Friday, the political council will discuss the candidacy selected by him, a meeting will be held on Saturday with the majority and then the new PM will be presented to the public.

“It is not ruled out that the council may not accept my version, though the probability is very low, as I have selected a good candidate,” Ivanishvili said, adding that this person will be an acceptable one for everybody. “Time will show how influential he is going to be,” stated the PM. Ivanishvili also said that he thinks that most ministers will keep their post.

The PM answered the question about how reasonable the statement is that Ivanishvili may maintain influence on decisions after leaving the post. “I will resign at the meeting on 24 November. I will leave the party and politics,” the PM said, stressing that before his resignation, he will discuss the candidacy of the future mayor of Tbilisi. “I can express my political opinion while I am in politics,” said PM.