The FINANCIAL — The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia will endorse the candidacy of Salome Zurabishvili for the October 28 presidential elections, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze announced on September 9.
Speaking at a special press briefing at the GDDG headquarters following the political council meeting today, Irakli Kobakhidze said the ruling majority would follow its earlier announced plan and not field a candidate for the elections.
Kobakhidze stressed the GDDG “has many decent leaders” within its ranks, but a partisan president would go against the “tradition of European parliamentary republics.” “We believe that in order to ensure maximum political pluralism, considering the country’s interests, we need to let the presidency to an independent candidate,” he added.
Kobakhidze then said the political council, the party’s main governing body chaired by GDDG leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, decided to endorse the candidacy of Salome Zurabishvili.
Kobakhidze touched upon Zurabishvili’s controversial Russo-Georgian war-related remarks, saying the candidate’s clarifications over her original statement “corresponds” to the position of the ruling party.
“Salome Zurabishvili underscored that in 2008 the aggressor, and therefore the one who initiated the war, was the Russian Federation; the processes in August 2008 followed the Russian scenario, but an essential prerequisite for this scenario to happen was the actions that unfortunately were carried out by Saakashvili’s administration,” he noted.
“If not his precarious approach, if not [his] foolishness, the Russian Federation would not be able to implement its scenario; this was what Zurabishvili clarified, and this, of course, entirely corresponds to our position,” Kobakhidze stressed.
Salome Zurabishvili commented on the announcement briefly, telling reporters that she was very happy about the decision and was grateful for GDDG’s support.