Experts Forecast Saakashvili’s Victory in Georgian Elections
January 3rd, 2003 (RIA Novosti correspondent) – Leader of the
National Movement party and candidate from the Burdzhanadze-Democrats
political association, Mikhail Saakashvili – one of the leaders
of the November Velvet Revolution – is standing the highest chances
of winning the early presidential elections in Georgia. This is
the opinion of the majority of Georgian NGOs following the run-up
processes in the country.
programme address to the voters, Saakashvili declared Georgia’s
readiness for friendship with Russia but only if Moscow respects
Georgia’s independence and sovereignty.
want to be friends with Russia but it should realise that we have
other options such as Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey,"
hopeful has also touched upon the problem of the Adzharian autonomy
and voiced his attitude to its leader Aslan Abashidze. "Adzharia
is not Aslan Abashidze’s property. If somebody tries to separate
this territory from Georgia, I have a four-wall accommodation
for this person at the ready. I am ready to meet Abashidze and
meet him half-way. But I will never make any concessions detrimental
to the country’s interests. Shevardnadze has already destroyed
what could be destroyed. There is no need for any more destruction.
Moreover, we will certainly restore Georgia’s territorial integrity
and reach the Psou (a river on the border between the Abzhazian
self-proclaimed republic and Russia)," Saakashvili said in
his election programme, as appearing in front of his supporters
in the Sports Palace in late December.
Saakashvili, contending for the top state position in Georgia
will be leader of the David the Builder political movement Roin
Liparteliani, head of the Georgian Lawyers’ Association Kartlos
Garibashvili, leader of the Mdzleveli political movement Zurab
Kelekhsashvili, leader of the Georgian League of the Disabled
NGO Zaza Sikharulidze, and former governor of the Imeretia (a
district of Georgia) Teimuraz Shashiashvili.
15 candidates intended to run for president but eight of them
failed to gather the necessary number of signatures – 50,000.
Another presidential candidate – former state security minister
Igor Giorgadze – failed to get registered with the Central Election
Commission because he had not been living on Georgian territory
in the past two years as the law on presidential elections requires.
is being charged by the Georgian authorities for organising a
murder attempt on Eduard Shevardnadze in August 1995. since then,
Giorgadze has been on the international wanted list.
the Constitution, the Georgian head of state is elected by secret
vote for five years. The same person can stay in office only for
two terms in a row.
are recognised valid if over 50% of voters plus one vote took
part in them. According to the law, voters are marked with special
liquid on the right hand. The special marking liquid is provided
by the OSCE.
law has it, election campaign stops 24 hours before the elections.
Polling stations will open at 8 am and close at 8 pm local time.
The final results of the elections are to be announced 18 days
after the event but the Central Election Commission’s press centre
said official outcome of the polls would be ready by January 7th.
elections in Georgia have been scheduled for January 4th.