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Inauguration of the President-Elect of Georgia to Be Held on December 16, 2018


Lana Giorgidze

The second round of the Presidential Elections was held on November 28. According to the Central Election Commission, the candidate of the United Opposition Grigol Vashadze gained 40.46% (779 614) of votes, while the Georgian Dream-backed candidate Salome Zurabishvili gained 59.54% (1 147 106) of votes.

The President-Elect, other candidates or opposition parties, who gained more than 10% of votes in the elections, will receive 1 million GEL from the state budget.

It is regulated under the Article 56 of the Election Code, which states that an election subject that obtains 10% or more in the first round of the presidential elections will receive 1 million GEL from the state budget. 

According to the results from the first round of the Presidential Elections, Salome Zurabishvili, who was independent candidate, gained 38.64% of votes; Grigol Vashadze of the United National Movement gained 37.74% of votes and the candidate of the European Georgia Davit Bakradze obtained 10.97% of votes. 

“It is important to note that there was high turnout of voters in the second round of the presidential elections. The votes’ counting process was conducted in accordance to the law in all precincts. Representatives of the election subjects and observers had possibility to freely observe the counting process,” the CEC spokesperson Ana Mikeladze told media.

Ana Mikeladze informed media about the complaints lodged to the DECs and said that by November 29, 307 complaints were registered in DECs.
“Big part of the complaints lodged to the DECs was written in polling stations throughout the day. Most of them referred to procedural violations, and requested disciplinary responsibility of PEC members. However, the DECs received other complaints too, where applicants have claims about election results in PECs and their number is few. The DECs will adequately react to all complaints,” Mikeladze said. 

In most polling stations throughout the country the election process was conducted mostly in relevance to the law. However, the facts of violation of election privacy created problems during polling process, as it was reported by the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy. 

In accordance to the ISFED, supporters and coordinators of the Georgian Dream and the presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili were mobilized in the vicinities of the polling stations, who recorded the names of the voters, that is continued tendency to influence the will of voters. 

When the time to close the polling stations approached, ISFED observed serious incidents like disappearance of the table list of voters, break of unauthorized persons into the polling stations and attempt to steal the ballot boxes. Other incidents were connected with procedural violations. ISFED lodged 46 complaints to PECs and 54 complaints to DECs,” the statement of the ISFED reads. 

Nongovernmental organization Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association also evaluated the second round of the Presidential Elections and stated that the Election Day was mostly peaceful, however, marked with significant violations and other important tendencies: facts of alleged falsification, vote bribery and threatening; separate cases of violation of the key principle of the elections – vote secrecy and facts of control over voters’ will.

According to the GYLA, their observers were limited in the possibility to perform observer duties, as there were facts of aggression and threat of physical assault against GYLA observers – during both the voting process, as well as during the vote count process.

One of the candidates participating in the elections Grigol Vashadze, who obtained 37.74% of votes in the first round of the elections, mistrusts the election results. 

“Georgia does not have a president. We do not acknowledge the election results and request early parliamentary elections,” the candidate of the United Opposition said on November 29 during his meeting with the supporters in the Tbilisi Concert Hall.

“We did not have presidential elections in Georgia. It was criminal farce organized by the government with criminal terror. Consequently, we do not acknowledge the election results,” Grigol Vashadze said.

He added that they do not have the president and have no moral and political responsibilities in front of her. “Whatever subject they will place in the Palace of President, she will not be the president and we do not bear any political or moral responsibilities in front of her,” Vashadze told his supporters.

No more elections shall be conducted in Georgia with these standards, - the acting President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili said on November 29 during the briefing.

“Based on the observation of the Election Day and assessments of observation organizations, I would like to express my concern with regard to sharp decrease of democracy in the second round of the elections and declare that no more elections shall be conducted in Georgia with this standard,” Margvelashvili said.

He expressed readiness to start duty-assignment process with the president-elect.

“I congratulate the fifth president of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili. I wish her success and would like to announce that as soon as Salome Zurabishvili nominates the responsible person, we are ready to start cooperation with regard to duty-assignment process. We will also participate and assist her in organizing the inauguration ceremony. God will bless our Georgia and empower our president,” Margvelashvili said.

The inauguration of the president-elect Salome Zurabishvili will be held on December 16. In accordance to the Constitution of Georgia, the new president shall take the oath and conduct office-assuming ceremony on the third Sunday after the day of holding presidential elections. The office of the acting president – Giorgi Margvelashvili is terminated in the moment Salome Zurabishvili takes an oath.

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