TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Dream candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili has received 62 percent of the votes in the Georgian presidential election after 95% of the votes have been counted, Georgia’s Central Election Committee (CEC) announced.
This is slightly less than two exit polls showed as voting ended 8 pm yesterday, but well above the 50 percent needed to win in the first round.
With almost 95 percent of votes counted, Margvelashvili leads with 62 percent; Davit Bakradze from the National Movement got 21.8 percent, while Nino Burjanadze, former Speaker of Parliament and one of the three leaders of the Rose Revolution, is in third place with 10.2 percent of votes.
Bakradze congratulated Margvelashvili on his victory and called his second place a significant achievement. Burjanadze expressed irritation with the exit polls which indicated her in third place with less than ten percent support.
Yesterday’s election was in reality a battle for the second place, as opinion polls showed clearly that the Georgian Dream candidate would win by a large margin. Getting in second place would give that party or candidate some legitimacy as the main opposition and a boost before the local elections scheduled for spring 2014.
The new president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, was personally handpicked by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire businessman whose less than two years old Georgian Dream coalition now controls both prime minister and president in the country. The prime minister is more important, as it will become the most powerful position after a constitutional change comes into force in the near future. Although just having voted on their president, Georgians have no clue who their real new leader will be. That person will also be personally handpicked by Ivanishvili, who has said he will announce the name tomorrow or Wednesday as he himself steps down.