Another stage in democratic Georgia: Presidential Elections - Interview by Ghia Abashidze | Eurasia Diary -

20 June, Thursday

Another stage in democratic Georgia: Presidential Elections - Interview by Ghia Abashidze

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Yesterday Georgian population voted their candidates in the second round of the presidential elections. Salome Zurabishvili and Grigol Vashadze – who finished with 38.64% and 37.74% in the first round of the elections. The president of Georgia will be selected for the results of the second round elections.

Eurasia Diary took an interview by political analyst Ghia Abashidze in terms of the determination of the future of Georgia.

How the elections of Georgia will affect the future of the state and society?

I am expecting that it will be another serious passing test in the democratic development of Georgia. The country, Georgian society must prove that whatever the outcome of these elections is it has firmly, peacefully passed the point of being a transitional, post-Soviet hybrid democracy and has its rightful place in Europe. Otherwise, its image as a developing democracy will be jeopardized. I do hope that this process will finish peacefully and normally.

Do you expect any changes in foreign relations of Georgia (with EU and Russia)?

It does not matter whoever wins the run-off that Georgia will derive from its pro-EU, pro-NATO pathway. Both parties and their leaders have expressed their will and actions in that direction. Furthermore, under current ruling Georgian Dream party the country has reached further heights in the Euro-Atlantic integration. At the same time, the incumbent party has managed to normalize relations with Russia although the latter still continues to support separatist regions of Georgia. More needs to be done in breaking the ice with regard to restoring the territorial integrity of Georgia with peaceful means with the facilitation of the West.

If Vashadze wins, how much Saakashivili’s return is real?

If Gregory Vashadze of the UNM wins expected return of his party boss, former President Saakashvili who was several convictions by the Georgian court in absentia is probable. Naturally, it would lead to more instability and confrontation of the Georgian society.

What the elections bring to the Caucasus generally?

Utmost important is that this election is peaceful, free and fair, and that all sides accept the outcome, regardless of who wins. Normally held elections that is validated both in Georgia and internationally will keep this country on its chosen way of Euro-Atlantic integration, further development and making it further attractive for foreign investors, tourists. Peaceful, stable, democratic strong Georgia is not only in the interests of this country but also for its neighbours and allies.

Interviewed by Ulvi Ahmedli

Eurasia Diary

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