At 8 a.m. on October 27, all 3,689 polling stations across the country were opened. The total number of voters in the 2013 presidential election is 3, 537, 851 including the citizens abroad.
Georgians, candidates, take to the voting stations
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, October 28
From the very early morning, the presidential candidates and members of government were making their choices at various precincts.
“I have voted in favor of Georgia’s future,” Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said after making his choice, along with his family members at the 4th polling station.
“We are proving today that we are typical Europeans and even in a qualitatively different situation, we show a lot of responsibility, I am sure that nobody will stay at home before the evening without casting their ballot for the future of our country,” he said. Ivanishvili said there were queues at the ballot boxes across the country and the mobilization of the population was very high.
“People in Georgia do not have any sense of fear anymore; they are free. But freedom needs to be supported by economy. Of course, democratic institutions should be strengthened, but the economy will be our major challenge for the nearest 20 years,” PM said.
The Georgian Dream’s (GD) presidential candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, after casting his ballot in Tbilisi with his daughter, said that he voted for Georgia’s progress. “It is a very important day because unprecedented calm, European standard elections are held; democracy will be consolidated, as well as the course which will turn our country and the nation into a genuinely European state,” he stated.
Addressing his constituents a day earlier, Margvelashvili said that citizens of Georgia are obliged to make a choice, because this is democracy. “Some may think that this is a politicians' business, but a politician must do what the people will chose. That’s why everyone must go and make their choice,” stressed Margvelashvili.
Outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili said that regardless of who wins in Sunday’s presidential vote, this election is only a minor phase in a completely new stage, which will involve other struggle, when lots of new interesting events will take place.
Encouraging everyone to go to the poling stations, Saakashvili said “this fight is really worth it.”
“Now is a very important part of this struggle. Each voice will make a huge difference in the future, so now is not the time to sitting home,” said Saakashvili.
The United National Movement’s (UNM) presidential candidate Davit Bakradze after casting his ballot with his wife and children said, “I have an excellent mood. I voted for the country’s stability and a better future, for the fulfillment of promises and for better life for the people; I voted for the country’s security and for our European choice. I wish this day to become the day of victory first and foremost for our country.”
Claiming that she will fight for fulfilling the promises she has made to the people in different parts of the country during her election campaign, presidential candidate, of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, after casting her ballot said, “My expectation is that election should be held freely, fairly and democratically. In that case I am confident about the election results. It is the duty of the authorities to secure free and fair elections and I hope the authorities will do that. The pre-election period was much better than in previous and I hope they will not be tempted to rig the ballot now,” stated Burjanadze and added that her campaign headquarters was receiving reports about some major violations. :
Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Shalva Natelashvili, was the first among candidates who appeared at the polling station with his wife. “I made my choice for Georgia, about our motherland; in the 21th century, we may have not business more important than this, that’s why I ask everyone to come and vote, today will decide our future,” stated Natelashvili and added that after declaring the results, he may ask for a re-count of votes.
Presidential candidate of Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), Giorgi Targamadze, casted his ballot on 5th polling station with his wife. “Those elections are the real chance to finish Bolshevism in Georgia,” stressed Targamadze.
Casting ballot at the 4th polling station Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II blessed the gathered people.
According to the Central Election Commission (CEC) as of 17:00 pm voter turnout was 39.07 % - 1,182,017 voters.