POLITICS
100% of the ballot counted: Salome Zourabichvili wins
29 November, 2018
Yesterday on the 28th of November, the second round of the presidential election took place in Georgia. The first round of the election occurred on the 28th of October. It is the last election in which the president was selected by the electorate. After that, presidents will be picked by an electoral college of 300 lawmakers and regional officials.

100 % of the ballot from 3705 polling stations has been counted. According to the CEC, Central Election Committee of Georgia, Salome
Zourabichvili wins the run-off vote for Georgia's presidency with the 59,52% percent of the ballot. She was an independent candidate backed by the ruling party Georgian Dream.

The other candidate Grigol Vashadze from an opposition coalition took 40.48%. As for numbers, Salome Zourabichvili took 1147627 votes compared to 780633 votes of Grigol Vashadze.

Regarding the polling stations in foreign countries, Vashadze won 64,27 % of the ballot and Zourabichvili took 35,73%. Presently, the ballot papers of 54 out of 57 have been counted.

The second round of the election in Afghanistan for Georgian soldiers took place on the 26th of November. Grigol Vashadze took the majority of votes in the two polling stations in Afghanistan. He took 366 of the ballot in the first polling station and 86 in the other as compared to 316 and 46 votes of Salome Zourabichvili.
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Grigol Vashadze

Zourabichvili was born, grew up and spent most of her life in Paris. The granddaughter of political refugees who fled Georgia in 1921, she worked for many years in the French diplomatic corps.

In 2003 she was appointed Georgia’s ambassador to France, and several months later, after the Rose Revolution in Georgia, Saakashvili appointed the 52-year-old Zourabichvili as minister of foreign affairs. She received Georgian citizenship at that point and retained her French passport as well. However, she was soon dismissed and in 2005, Salome was participating in the demonstrations against the Saakashvili’s government.

In 2012, Zourabichvili supported Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition against Saakashvili, though she did not join the party.

This was not the first attempt of Zourabichvili to become president of Georgia. In 2013 she wanted to participate in the presidential elections. However, she was not allowed to register because of her dual citizenship.

In the parliamentary elections of 2016, she positioned herself as an independent candidate in a majoritarian district of Tbilisi. The ruling party purposefully did not put forward its own candidate in the district and used its resources to help Zourabichvili.
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Salome Zourabichvili

Before the first round of the election, the massive campaign against Zourabichvili began. It was because of her statements concerning the August War of 2008. At the beginning of her election campaign, she told journalists that Russia began the war against Georgia more than a hundred years ago but it was Georgia that bombed their own population.

Later, she tried to explain that in 2008, Russia was the aggressor, but Saakashvili gave into provocation, and Russia used this moment as an excuse to begin the war against Georgia. Zourabichvili’s statement was followed by the campaign against voting for her. She was called a traitor for taking Putin’s side. Some part of the population along with Various politicians from both the ruling and the opposition parties, clerical and military figures as well as NGO’s involved in the campaign claiming that Salome’s statements may bring negative consequences for Georgia in the international arena.

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