Georgian presidential election, 2013
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Presidential elections were held in Georgia on 27 October 2013, 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. Saakashvili was constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term.
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."
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 entered into force. The amendments envisaged significant reduction of the president's powers in favour of the Prime Minister.
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. All the primaries were won by Bakradze who was announced the presidential candidate.
In total, 23 candidates contested the election.
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.
The result of the election was a clear first-round majority for Margvelashvili with 62% of the vote. Bakradze, his nearest rival, polled 22%. Burjanadze came third, with 10% of the vote. No other candidate received more than 3% of the vote. The inauguration of Margvelashvili will be on 17 November.
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.
|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|
Margvelashvili is an ally of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, and the result was considered to be a consolidation of Ivanishvili's power. 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.
The election was declared as "clean" and "transparent" by international observers. The OSCE observer mission preliminary stated that the election was "efficiently administered, transparent and took place in an amicable and constructive environment." 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.
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- Sweden — Foreign Minister Carl Bildt congratulated Georgia on "its well-run presidential election and Giorgi Margvelashvili on clearly being the winner."
- Georgia to hold presidential election in late October Xinhua, 2 July 2013
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- Key Points of Newly Adopted Constitution. Civil Georgia. 15 October 2010.
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- Poll: GD's Margvelashvili Leads, Followed by UNM's Bakradze. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "57.6% of respondents support Margvelashvili, 11.8% – Bakradze and 7,1% – Burjanadze". Pirweli. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
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- Corso, Molly (27 October 2013). "Georgia: Low Turnout Overshadows Presidential Election". Eurasianet.org. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Georgia PM ally Giorgi Margvelashvili 'wins presidency'". BBC News. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Fundamental freedoms respected in well-administered presidential election in Georgia, international observers say". OSCE. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
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- 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.
- "Georgian Presidential Election". U.S. State Department. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- Nechepurenko, Ivan (28 October 2013). "With Saakashvili Out, Russia-Georgia Ties Set to Improve, but Slowly". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Carl Bildt". Twitter. Retrieved 28 October 2013.