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Current President Refuses to Participate in Elections

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 3
Current Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated on Friday that he would not participate in the October 28 presidential elections.

The opposition criticized Margvelashvili for the decision, while the members of the Georgian Dream ruling party stated that the solution was “logical.”

Margvelashvili unveiled his decision during his meeting with students and announced that he would continue his career in the education field as soon as his five-year presidential term expires this autumn.

Margvelashvili, who chaired the GIPA high education institute before being elected as the president in 2013, told the students that he has never served any political party or elite in the role and hoped that his successor would do the same.

A member of the Georgian Dream Mamuka Mdinaradze, of the party which nominated Margvelashvili for president five years ago, said that Margvelashvili ’s decision was logical, as he had “no chances” to win the race.

A member of the European Georgia opposition Elene Khoshtaria stated that Margvelashvili’s decision was “unclear.”

“ When there are high expectations in public, making such a decision on the final moment is unclear, especially in the situation when the elections are the chance to make changes,” Khoshtaria said.

Nika Melia from the United National Movement opposition said that after years Margvelashvili would not be remembered as the politician who cared about the welfare of the country.

“People will remember him as the president who had continued disputes and disagreements with the ruling party,” Melia said.

A leader of the Development Movement, former Parliament Speaker, one of the presidential candidates David Usupashvili said that Margvelashvili’s decision was not a surprise for him after the current president dismissed his offer to unite in the new political movement.

The Georgian Dream ruling party will allegedly announce whom they will support in the week, as the party refused to nominate its candidate for the elections.

The opposition believes that the ruling party will support an independent candidate, independent MP, ex-Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili as president.

Margvelashvili was selected as the presidential candidate in 2013 by ex-PM, founder of the Georgian Dream party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Relations between Margvelashvili and Ivanishvili became tense shortly after the elections, when Margvelashvili “changed his attitudes and character,” as Ivanishvili said.

The complication of relations with Ivanishvili created a confrontation between the president and the Georgian Dream team, which was evident over the course of five years.