(civil.ge) On October 28, Georgians went to polls to elect their fifth president. Runoff between the two top contenders – the ruling party-backed Salome Zurabishvili and the opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze – will be held later this month or early December.
To reflect on the first round of the presidential elections, we have asked three Georgian professors – Ghia Nodia, Kornely Kakachia and Tornike Sharashenidze, to assess the election results, as well as the possible outcomes of the upcoming runoff.
Kornely Kakachia, professor of political science at Tbilisi State University and director of the Tbilisi-based Georgian Institute of Politics:
What is most important, is that despite very polarized and confrontational pre-election environment, the election can be considered valid and quite competitive. Both sides, as well as international observers, have acknowledged that. As it was expected, the candidates again failed to offer positive agenda to voters. Rather than to unveil their own visions about the country’s development, to discuss dire social-economic situation and many other issues that voters are concerned about, the entire pre-election campaign was built on negative scandals and attempts to demonize each other. It is important that the sides again failed to attract more than 50% of voters who simply did not show up. [...]
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