Georgian presidential election, 2013

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Georgian presidential election, 2013
Georgia (country)
2008 ←
27 October 2013 (2013-10-27)
→ 2018

  Giorgi Margvelashvili cropped.jpg David Bakradze.jpg Nino Burjanadze (Tbilisi, December 5, 2003).jpg
Nominee Giorgi Margvelashvili David Bakradze Nino Burjanadze
Party Georgian Dream ENM DM–UG
Popular vote 1,012,569 354,103 166,061
Percentage 62.12% 21.72% 10.19%

President before election

Mikheil Saakashvili
ENM

Elected President

Giorgi Margvelashvili
Georgian Dream

Greater coat of arms of Georgia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Georgia

Presidential elections were held in Georgia on 27 October 2013,[1] the sixth presidential elections since the country's restoration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The last elections in January 2008 resulted in the re-election of Mikheil Saakashvili for his second and final presidential term.[2] Saakashvili was constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term.

The elections were held under a two-round system. Giorgi Margvelashvili was elected with a majority of votes in the first round.[3][4]

Background[edit]

The previous presidential elections were held on 5 January 2008 in a polarised political environment following the November 2007 crisis, in response to which President Mikheil Saakashvili, then serving his first term in office, brought forward the elections from the original date in autumn 2008. Saakashvili won the election with 53.47% of the votes in an election described in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) election observation mission report as "the first genuinely competitive post-independence presidential election", which "was in essence consistent with most OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and standards for democratic elections". At the same time, the mission "revealed significant challenges which need to be addressed urgently."[5]

In the October 2012 parliamentary elections, the former ruling party United National Movement (ENM) lost power to the Georgian Dream coalition led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, who became the new Prime Minister.

Upon the inauguration of a new president in 2013, a series of constitutional amendments passed in the Parliament of Georgia from 2010 to 2013 will enter into force. The amendments envisage significant reduction of the president's powers in favour of the Prime Minister.[6]

Candidates[edit]

The Georgian Dream coalition named Giorgi Margvelashvili, minister of education and science and deputy prime minister, as their presidential candidate on 11 May.[7]

The candidates for the ENM presidential primaries, announced in June 2013, were former parliamentary speaker David Bakradze, veteran lawmaker and former cabinet minister Giorgi Baramidze, Shota Malashkhia and Zurab Japaridze.[8] All the primaries were won by Bakradze who was announced the presidential candidate.[9]

On 12 June, Nino Burjanadze announced that she would run for president as the nominee of Democratic Movement – United Georgia.[10]

In total, 23 candidates contested the election.[11]

Opinion polls[edit]

Opinion polls in the run-up to the election showed Margvelashvili to be the frontrunner. Polls varied between showing over 50% support for Margvelashvili and figures indicating the election would go to a second round.[12][13][14]

Results[edit]

The result of the election was a clear first-round majority for Margvelashvili with 62% of the vote. Bakradze, his nearest rival, polled 22%.[4] Burjanadze came third, with 10% of the vote. No other candidate received more than 3% of the vote.[11] The inauguration of Margvelashvili will be on 17 November.[15]

The election saw 47% of eligible voters cast a ballot; this is lower than the 2012 parliamentary election, which saw 61% vote, and the 2008 presidential election, where 54% of voters participated.[16]

Candidate Nominating party Votes %
Giorgi Margvelashvili Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia 1,012,569 62.12
Davit Bakradze United National Movement 354,103 21.72
Nino Burjanadze Democratic Movement – United Georgia 166,061 10.19
Shalva Natelashvili Labour Party 46,984 2.88
Giorgi Targamadze Christian-Democratic Movement 17,354 1.06
Koba Davitashvili People's Party 9,838 0.60
Zurab Kharatishvili European Democrats 3,718 0.23
Levan Chachua Initiative group 3,093 0.19
Nino Chanishvili Initiative group 2,276 0.14
Sergo Javakhidze Movement for a Fair Georgia 2,107 0.13
Giorgi Liluashvili Initiative group 1,909 0.12
Akaki Asatiani Union of Georgian Traditionalists 1,559 0.10
Mikheil Saluashvili Initiative group 1,376 0.08
Teimuraz Mzhavia Christian Democratic People's Party 1,285 0.08
Mamuka Melikishvili Initiative group 995 0.06
Giorgi Chikhladze Initiative group 820 0.05
Nestan Kirtadze Initiative group 762 0.05
Tamaz Bibiluri Initiative group 687 0.04
Nugzar Avaliani Initiative group 664 0.04
Avtandil Margiani Initiative group 627 0.04
Kartlos Gharibashvili Initiative group 530 0.03
Teimuraz Bobokhidze Initiative group 356 0.02
Mamuka Chokhonelidze Initiative group 315 0.02
Invalid/blank votes 30,988
Total 1,660,976 100
Registered voters/turnout 3,537,719 46.95
Source: CEC

Reactions[edit]

Margvelashvili is an ally of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, and the result was considered to be a consolidation of Ivanishvili's power.[4] With his appointee elected to the presidency, Ivanishvili has declared his intention to leave his role as Prime Minister, stating that his goals have been achieved.[17]

The election was declared as "clean" and "transparent" by international observers.[4] The OSCE observer mission preliminary stated that the election was "efficiently administered, transparent and took place in an amicable and constructive environment."[18] However, there were some issues noted by observers. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, a Georgian election observer group, found "significant shortcomings" regarding invalid ID and voter lists in Batumi, filing 45 complaints. Another group, Transparency International, filed 34 complaints.[19]

International responses[edit]

Supranational organizations
  •  European Union — Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, and Štefan Füle, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, released a statement where they congratulated "the Georgian people on this demonstration of their country's strong democratic credentials" and that they "look forward to continued close cooperation with Georgia on our ambitious mutual agenda of political association and economic integration."[20]
States
  •  United States — US Department of State release said that they "witnessed another historic day for all Georgians" and an "important step in Georgia's democratic development and its embrace of Euro-Atlantic institutions."[21]
  •  Russia — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov congratulated the Georgian people on the "free and fair election" and expressed his hope that the new government will "adopt a friendly policy toward Russia, one that will take into account the current situation in this complex region."[22]
  •  Sweden — Foreign Minister Carl Bildt congratulated Georgia on "its well-run presidential election and Giorgi Margvelashvili on clearly being the winner."[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Georgia to hold presidential election in late October Xinhua, 2 July 2013
  2. ^ History of elections, 1990–2010. Central Electoral Commission of Georgia. Retrieved on 27 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Ally of Georgia's billionaire PM to be president: exit polls". Reuters. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Berry, Lynn (28 October 2013). "International Observers Praise Georgia's Election". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Georgia. Extraordinary Presidential Election, 5 January 2008. OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report (4 March 2008). Retrieved on 27 November 2011.
  6. ^ Key Points of Newly Adopted Constitution. Civil Georgia. 15 October 2010.
  7. ^ Georgian PM names pro-Western ally presidential candidate. Reuters. 11 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Candidates for UNM Presidential Primaries Named". Civil Georgia. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Bakradze Becomes UNM Presidential Candidate". Civil Georgia. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Burjanadze Runs for President". Civil Georgia. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "October 27, 2013 Presidential Elections of Georgia". Election Administration of Georgia. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Poll: GD's Margvelashvili Leads, Followed by UNM's Bakradze. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  13. ^ "57.6% of respondents support Margvelashvili, 11.8% – Bakradze and 7,1% – Burjanadze". Pirweli. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Who becomes President of Georgia?". Rbk. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Walker, Shaun (28 October 2013). "Georgia elects oligarch PM Bidzina Ivanishvili's candidate as president". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Corso, Molly (27 October 2013). "Georgia: Low Turnout Overshadows Presidential Election". Eurasianet.org. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Georgia PM ally Giorgi Margvelashvili 'wins presidency'". BBC News. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Fundamental freedoms respected in well-administered presidential election in Georgia, international observers say". OSCE. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  19. ^ Civil Georgia (28 October 2013). "Margvelashvili Set for Outright Victory". Civil.ge. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  20. ^ European Commission (28 October 2013). "Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the results of Georgia's presidential election". Europa.eu. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Georgian Presidential Election". U.S. State Department. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Nechepurenko, Ivan (28 October 2013). "With Saakashvili Out, Russia-Georgia Ties Set to Improve, but Slowly". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Carl Bildt". Twitter. Retrieved 28 October 2013.