Ruling Party Candidate Wins Georgia Presidential Poll
Giorgi Margvelashvili, an ally of Georgia's billionaire Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, has comfortably won the country’s presidential election.
Initial exit polls gave Giorgi Margvelashvili, from Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party, about 65 percent of the vote in an election that marks the end of a decade in power for pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili.
“I want to thank everyone who supported me,” Margvelashvili said outside his party headquarters in Tbilisi on Sunday evening where his supporters had already taken to the streets to celebrate his win.
“Thanks to the Prime Minister who facilitated today’s victory,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
Twenty three candidates took part in Sunday's elections in the South Caucasus nation, but the presidential position is less powerful than it was under Saakashvili after laws passed earlier this year diluted presidential powers.
Margvelashvili’s main rival, Davit Bakradze of United National Movement, was given about 20 percent of the vote by exit polls