" 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
Fight broke out in the Georgian TV show
Fight in the Georgian Show Archevani (a choice) broke out between the guests yesterday.
7 amendments that come in force today in Georgia
On the 1st of October, 7 new amendments come in force in Georgia.
Speaker of the parliament plays Knockin' on Heaven's Door
What do the politicians do when they have free time? It is an interesting issue in every country.
What are the new New Year decorations for Tbilisi
New Year decorations and its price in Tbilisi is always a matter of discussion in the capital.
Mamuka Bakhtadze gives a speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly
Mamuka Bakhtadze, the prime minister of Georgia is attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly from the 24th of September.
Georgia will ban use, import and production of plastic bags
The Georgian government has decided to tighten rules regulating use of plastic bags in Georgia.
The parliament returns to Tbilisi
The Parliament of Georgia will continue working in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia from January 2019. Currently, the building is located in Kutaisi (west Georgia).
Mamuka Bakhtadze is visiting the USA within the working visit
The Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze Brought a wreath to the tomb of the Georgian military serviceman John Malkhaz Shalikashvili.
Use of plastic bags to be reduced from the 1st of October
Within the framework of the Green Economics and Environmental Protection Policy the Georgian government has approved new regulations
Four Russian Journalists have not been allowed to enter Georgia
Three members of the Russian delegation were not allowed to enter Georgia as this would have violated the Law on the Occupied Territories of Georgia.
Tbilisi sign may appear on the Funicular hill
Hollywood has become a source of inspiration for many people worldwide. A similar idea from a Tbilisi citizen sounds very clever and attractive.
Russia was at an undeclared war with Georgia for years - Matthew Bryza
I think anybody who has observed how Russia has been conducting its war in Ukraine should realize that Russia was at war with Georgia, an undeclared war for years,
Tbilisi Park is due to open in Buenos-Aires
Tbilisi Park is due to open in the capital of Argentina, Buenos-Aires. The decision was recently made by the city parliament.
Young people detained by occupying forces in the Truso gorge
Some young Georgian hikers have recently been detained by armed forces in the Truso gorge. They have been accused of illegally crossing the so-called border into the occupied Tskhinvali region.
Wildfire in Khashuri, Tseda village
Fire broke out yesterday in Khashuri, Tseda village, in the forest.
Travel between Ukraine and Georgia for both countries’ citizens to be allowed only by electronic ID cards
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has announced that the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine will be able to travel in and out of both countries using only electronic ID cards.
Why does the Georgians love John McCain?
John McCain, Senator, and former Presidential candidate of the USA died on the 25th of August, 2018. He was diagnosed with lioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer last year.
The IBSU Conundrum
Teachers, students and students-to-be all took to the streets when the news broke that the International Black Sea University, one of the most highly regarded universities in the country, wouldn’t be admitting new students into its ranks this year.
Angela Merkel arrives in Georgia
German chancellor Angela Merkel has already arrived in Georgia.
German media about possible reasons for  Merkel’s visit to Georgia
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tbilisi today, expectations are high and both the Georgian and German media are speculating about the possible results of the visit.
Angela Merkel to visit Georgia on August 23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Georgia on the 23rd of August. Her plan is to visit the Caucasus states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Georgian presidential candidate to Journalists –“Shake your brain!”
“Journalists should shake their brains” – said Georgian presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili to journalists.
What does Giorgi Margvelashvili own?
The presidential election will be held on 28th of October, 2018 in Georgia. The President Giorgi Margvelashvili has not yet confirmed his participation in the election.
"Father returned for mother ... then the bomb landed …”
10 years on, this is a different August. But this month is a time of remembrance and of hard memories and hurt.
The World talks about the 2008 war
On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, 20% of Georgia continues to be occupied by Russian military forces who also seem intent of further encroachment on Georgian territory.
Exchange Rates
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
October 2018
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