Georgia, which on Sunday took to the polls to elect a new president, counts the final votes. The numbers will obviously change, but the outcome of the election is already clear. There will be no second round of the vote. The winner of the presidential election in Georgia is the candidate of the ruling coalition, the Georgian Dream, Georgy Margvelashvily. The processing of ballots collected from 90.99 percent of polling stations showed that he was gaining 62.09 percent of votes. To win in the first round, a candidate should receive 50 percent plus one vote. Margvelashvily's runner-up is a candidate from Saakashvili's party United National Movement, David Bakradze - 21.09 percent. The third place is taken by Nino Burjanadze from Democratic Movement-United Georgia - 10,06 percent.
The inauguration of the new president of Georgia will take place on November 17 - on the third Sunday after the election day, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Parliament, a member of the Georgian Dream, Vakhtang Khmaladze said. Bakradze has already congratulated his rival on the victory. Nino Burjanadze, on the contrary, said that she was hoping for a second round and will wait for official results. Spokespeople for her headquarters accused main competitors of conspiracy against her.
The election in Georgia had an unprecedented number of candidates: 23 people were struggling for the position of the president. The turnout was 46.6 percent.
The head of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, Tamar Zhvania, declared the elections valid. "It was another success of the Georgian people. Voters were able to freely express their will and fix their choice," she said. She stressed that "everything went in a peaceful environment, there were no serious violations reported."
After the announcement of the results of exit polls, supporters of the Georgian Dream took to the streets of Tbilisi on Sunday night, celebrating the victory of their candidate.
Georgy Margvelashvily, a graduate of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Tbilisi State University is a new face for Georgian politics. He will be one of the most uncharismatic Georgian leaders in history, experts say. The director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis, Vagif Guseinov, believes that the country will have a shadow puppet president with the leader of Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, at the center of power. He currently heads the government, but intends to give way to another person soon - for the "inflow of fresh blood into politics."
One may also assume that this is the type of president to fit the new Constitution of the country, which will come into force from the date of the inauguration. Georgia will become a parliamentary republic, and the head of state will not be able to either take part in the formation of the Cabinet or influence the decisions of the government.
According to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Margvelashvily will probably come in handy for one of his strongest quality - the ability to conduct a dialogue with representatives of various political parties.
Despite the activity on the Internet and a large number of followers on Facebook, Georgy Margvelashvily does not disclose details of his personal life. Most of the photos and videos that he has posted were taken and made on numerous rallies and party meetings.
Margvelashvily called upon the Georgian to vote for him as a successor to the policy of the coalition. He promised to continue rational lines, implying the expansion of economic cooperation with Russia and Tbilisi's active participation in international organizations, to ensure the de-occupation of the country.
Margvelashvily was born on September 4, 1969. In 1992, he graduated from the Tbilisi State University (TSU) named after Djavakhishvili. He holds a degree in philosophy and has a teaching certificate. In 1993-1996 he took post-graduate studies at the University of Central Europe (Prague, the Czech Republic), and at the Institute of Philosophy and the Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
In the government of Bidzina Ivanishvili, he served as the Minister for Education and Science. He is the author of several scientific papers and tutorials, as well as many articles on politics, international relations, culture and philosophy. He is fluent in Russian and English.
The elections brought the era of Mikhail Saakashvili to an end. "Georgia has got rid of the problematic president, many Russian publications wrote. It looks like the country may indeed enter a new phase of history.
The outgoing "problematic" president, Mikhail Saakashvili, appearing in the second half of the day on Imedi TV channel, compared the elections to the football match, in which players are killed and the game continues even if there is a pile of corpses on the field. Saakashvili came to the polling station alone, without family. He declined to comment on the election, inviting all those interested in the issue to his home for discussion.
According to the Komsomolskaya Pravda, "the most attractive aspect of this election is not who becomes a little-influential president in the parliamentary republic. It is finally the time, (and this is what many say in Georgia) when the long-suffering, tortured by its leaders country, had a chance to choose between ordinary people, peacefully, without blood, dirt and scandals.
It has been a long time when Georgia had such peaceful elections before. However, Saakashvili assured that the day of the election was not the end of his political career. "It is only one stage of the struggle that is going to end, but there is a new one beginning, and there will be many interesting events ahead," he said.