" Diplomats hope that Ivanishvili and Saakashvili will retreat from the country’s political life" - Financial Times
09 October, 2016
" Diplomats hope that Ivanishvili and Saakashvili will retreat from the country’s political life" - Financial Times
Two exit polls showed Georgia’s ruling party ahead in parliamentary elections on Saturday, in a broadly peaceful vote that confirmed the country’s status as a standard-bearer for democracy in the region, the Financial Times reports.

"Georgia, with a strategic location in the Caucasus along oil and gas supply routes, is a key western ally in the former Soviet Union. A fifth of its territory is under Russian control in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia following a five-day war
with Russia in 2008.

The election campaign has been dominated by the rivalry between Bidzina Ivanishvili, the mercurial billionaire who founded the ruling Georgian Dream party, and Mikheil Saakahsivli, the charismatic but divisive former president who is now governor of Odessa in Ukraine.

The lead for Georgian Dream reported by the exit polls, if confirmed, would be a blow to Mr Saakashvili’s ambitions to return to Georgia, as he had promised to do if his United National Movement party won.

Mr Ivanishvili, who formally retired from politics in 2013 but is widely seen as the puppet-master of the ruling Georgian Dream party, congratulated supporters on Saturday evening, claiming a “huge victory”.

The two exit polls reported wildly different margins of victory for Mr Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party. But both – including that commissioned by Rustavi 2, a channel seen as being close to UNM – showed Georgian Dream ahead, in line with pre-election analyst expectations.

The result is unlikely to alter Georgia’s pro-western foreign policy, with both Georgian Dream and UNM favouring closer ties with the west after Tbilisi signed an association agreement and free trade deal with the EU in 2014.

Should the victory for Georgian Dream be confirmed, western diplomats – and many Georgians – hope that Mr Ivanishvili and Mr Saakashvili will retreat from the country’s political life. That would draw to a close an acrimonious personal conflict that has consumed Georgian politics since 2012, when Mr Ivanishvili assembled Georgian Dream with the express goal of removing Mr Saakashvili from power.

Mr Saakashvili himself appeared to play down his intentions of returning to Georgia, telling Ukrainian TV that he “would not abandon my huge plans to help Ukraine”, regardless of the Georgian election result.

The relatively low turnout of 51.6 per cent, compared to 60.8 per cent in 2012, appeared to confirm voters’ disillusionment with both major parties. The image of Mr Saakashvili’s UNM is tainted by its final years in power, when it became increasingly harsh in its intolerance of dissent. And Mr Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition has failed to deliver on its ambitious promises as Georgia’s economy has slowed sharply, with growth last year the weakest since 2009.

Observers said that the vote was calm by the tumultuous standards of Georgian politics. In one exception to a generally peaceful election day, a group of men attacked a polling station in Marneuli, to the south of the capital Tbilisi.

“So far today has been quieter than previous elections and that is positive,” said Hans Gutbrod, an independent analyst on the Caucasus.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, prime minister and leader of Georgian Dream, said that the vote “firmly cements Georgia’s democracy”.

The final makeup of the parliament is unlikely to be clear for several weeks. While 77 out of 150 seats are determined by proportional representation, the remaining 73 are elected in local constituencies, which will go to a run-off if no one candidate secures at least half of the vote," the Financial Times informs.
Other Stories
Czech Ambassador: “Georgia among the best countries worldwide when it comes to combating Covid 19”
"Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze praised the Czech Republic’s contribution during Friday meeting with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska as the Georgian and Czech sides met to discuss various aspects of joint collaboration.
Russian MFA Statement About Lugar Research Center-Another Disinformation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responds to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding Lugar's laboratory.
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution On Occupied Territories Of Georgia
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia" within the framework of its 43rd session.
Kurt Volker about 20th of June: People Can’t Forget That
Given that one year has passed since June 20, 2019, it is interesting to see how the West assesses the developments in Georgia during this one year and what expectations it has for the October parliamentary elections.
Eastern Partnership Beyond 2020- Context and Expectations
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. The round dates always come with reflections and new resolutions for the future.
"8 March Agreement Is Very important For Georgian Democracy"-Carl Hartzell
The 8th March agreement concerned not only the change in the electoral system but justice and the impermissibility of political partiality in electoral processes, - stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell during his video broadcast.
Donald Trump Congratulates Georgia on Independence Day
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a letter of congratulations to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia on Independence Day.
US Ambassador Congratulating Georgia on the Independence Day
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has congratulated Georgia on the Independence Day.
Georgia's President Warns Covid-19 Crisis Could Trigger Russian Aggression
Georgia’s president has warned that Russia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus and an economic crisis compounded by an oil price collapse risk is triggering new Kremlin aggression beyond its borders, - reads an article published by Financial Times.
Creation of Maps Violating Georgia's Territorial Integrity To be Considered Illegal
Production, advertising, use, and transportation of maps and other objects reflecting the violation of the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia will be considered as an illegal act.
Turkey Starts Accepting Health Tourists From Georgia
Turkey has started accepting foreign patients from several countries, including from Georgia.
Georgia Has The Greatest Support In the World From EU-Carl Hartzell
A true friend is known to be in trouble, and we have proved that we are true friends, ”-EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel said during an online meeting with members of the European Business Association.
The EU Council Has Approved a Package of Financial Assistance to Georgia
The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved a package of emergency macro-financial assistance for 10 countries as part of its Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy.
The US Ambassador Stresses The Importance of Fair Judiciary System
We would like to see more American companies invest in Georgia and more Georgian companies in the United States said US Ambassador Kelly Degnan during a virtual press conference.
"One More Political Prisoner Is Still Waiting To Be Released"-McAllister
The MEPs expressed their opinions about the political situation in Georgia at the discussion of the report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Promoting Georgia As a Safe Destination For Tourism
“Georgia – a safe destination” is a message that Georgian diplomats should send to people in their countries, - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said while talking to Georgian ambassadors abroad via a video conference today.
UN To Allocate USD 1 Million To Support COVID-19 Crisis in Georgia
The United Nations will allocate USD 1 million for Georgia to help the country better respond to the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the most vulnerable groups from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the health crisis.
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia.
European Parliament Approves €150 Million Aid For Georgia
The European Parliament on Friday approved €3 billion in loans to help EU neighbors and partner countries deal with the fallout of COVID-19.
MEPs and U.S Senators Welcome the Pardon of Opposition Politicians
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced yesterday that she was pardoning Georgian opposition politicians Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, which she said was ‘a very difficult decision’.
The Presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia Received a High Assessment
According to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia had a very high assessment at the international level.
Coronavirus Crisis is an Opportunity to Deepen Relations With the EU-Salome Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili talked to the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö on March 14.
Greece to Take Over On Georgia's Chairmanship of CoE Committee of Ministers
The Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will officially be transferred from Georgia to Greece today.
Disinformation and COVID-19
In an era of COVID-19 disinformation is becoming a tool for some states as a political leverage. Political scientist Giorgi Gobronidze explains why the issue matters.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
July 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31