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Georgian presidential candidate vows to improve relations with Russia

August 12, 2013, 19:14 UTC+3
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TBILISI, August 12 (Itar-Tass) - The presidential candidate from the ruling coalition Georgian Dream, Georgy Margvelashviil, said he would continue efforts to normalise relations with Russia if elected.

“The new government of Georgia has taken a number of steps in the past several months to normalise relations with Russia. This policy will be continued,” Margvelashvili said on Monday, August 12.

He also promised to do his best “to achieve stability, develop democracy and create conditions for peaceful reunification of Georgia.”

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is the head of the ruling coalition, said Margvelashvili “is not a member of any party”, he is a “worthy candidate and as president will be able to defend the interests of all citizens.”

Margvelashvili was deputy prime minister and minister of education until July and resigned from both posts following his nomination as a presidential candidate.

The presidential election is slated for October 27. More than 30 candidates have stated their presidential ambitions. According to experts, the main competitors, apart from Margvelashvili, are Nino Burdzhanadze, who was parliament speaker in 2001-2008; David Bakradze who is running from the United National Movement, previously a ruling party; and Shalva Natelashvili, head of the Labour Party.

Incumbent President Mikhail Saakashvili was reelected twice and may not run for a third term. The president in Georgia is elected for a period of five years.

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