Georgia has been voting for a new president after Mikheil Saakashvili’s decade in power. The pro US leader has served his two terms and now stands down. “Georgia will go through a turbulent time,” he told reporters after placing his ballot.
Leading challenger Georgi Margvelashvili looks set to be confirmed as the next president. He said a vote for him was one “for the future prosperity of the country”. He is a member of current Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party.
He said he was confident of winning more than half the votes to avoid a run off with other leading challengers like David Bakradze.
No major irregularities have been reported by observers in an election which will signal constitutional changes. Power will shift from the presidency to the government and parliament.
But the future say analysts is clouded by the decision of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to step down. A bitter rival of the retiring president he said his job will be done when Mikheil Saakashvili departs.