Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
Capital News

World

Polls open in Georgia presidential election

Both candidates have campaigned on similar promises to bring Georgia closer to full membership of the European Union and NATO © AFP/File / Vano Shlamov

TBILISI, Oct 28 – Georgians on Sunday started voting to elect a figurehead president in a poll seen as a crucial test for the increasingly unpopular ruling party.

The hotly contested race has pitted ex-French ambassador and Georgia’s former foreign minister Salome Zurabishvili, supported by the ruling Georgian Dream party, against opposition leader Grigol Vashadze, also a former foreign minister.

The two have an almost equal chance of being elected, according to opinion polls conducted in the run-up to the vote.

Vashadze — backed by exiled ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement and 10 other opposition groups — has been boosted by growing popular discontent over the government’s failure to tackle poverty.

He has promised to mount a campaign demanding snap parliamentary polls, if elected.

Both candidates have campaigned on similar promises to bring Georgia closer to full membership of the European Union and NATO.

The vote is Georgia’s last direct leadership poll as the Black Sea nation transitions to a parliamentary form of governance following a controversial constitutional reform.

The inauguration of a new president will pave the way for the new constitution to enter into force, making the head of state a largely ceremonial figure.

Georgia’s next president will be elected in 2024 by a 300-member electoral college.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The constitutional change was adopted in September 2017, a move protested by all opposition parties, which denounced it as favouring the ruling party.

Georgia’s outgoing President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, refused to run for a second term, saying he is not interested in assuming the reduced role.

Over 3.5 million people are eligible to vote in the election, which will be monitored by international observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Polls opened at 0400 GMT and will close at 1600 GMT, with results expected to start coming in overnight.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Kenya

Mwitiki became famous during the January 15-16 DusitD2 attack, after his picture and that of Starehe politician Steve Mbogo holding sophisticated firearms went viral.

Corona Virus

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 11 – China has now come out to help nations affected by coronavirus, after managing the crisis at home. On Wednesday,...

Capital Health

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Kenya has confirmed the first case of coronavirus which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic on...

BBI

NYERI, Mar 10 – Mathira legislator Rigathi Gachagua Tuesday claimed unnamed people in government had deployed State machinery to propel former Prime Minister Raila Odinga...