PM Ivanishvili said after casting ballot in Sunday’s presidential election that he expects “a lot of people will come and vote.”
Standing outside a polling station, where he cast ballot, Ivanishvili told journalists that he “of course” voted for GD presidential candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili.
“I have voted in favor of Georgia’s future,” Ivanishvili said. “I have information that there are queues at ballot boxes across the country. Mobilization of the population is very high. I was sure that we can make a correct choice in a balanced situation.”
Voter turnout was 6.8% as of 10am, two hours after the polling stations were opened, lower than in last year’s parliamentary vote at 10am when the figure stood at 10.3%.
“We are proving today that we are typical Europeans and even in a qualitatively different situation we show maximum of responsibility,” he said. “I am sure that nobody will stay at home before the evening without casting ballot for the future of our country.”
He said that these elections are held “in completely different” situation compared to last year’s parliamentary vote. “People feel freedom,” he said, adding that the authorities “are not even trying” to use state resources in favor of any presidential candidate.
“People in Georgia do not have any sense of fear anymore; they are free. But freedom needs to be supported by economy. Of course, democratic institutions should be strengthened, but economy will be our major challenges for the nearest 20 years.”
GD presidential candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, said after casting ballot in Tbilisi that voted for “Georgia’s progress” and added: “It is very important day because unprecedented calm, European standard elections are held; democracy will be consolidated, as well as the course which will turn our country and the nation into genuinely European state.”
UNM presidential candidate Davit Bakradze said after casting ballot: “I have an excellent mood. I voted for country’s stability and better future, for fulfillment of promises and for better life for the people; I voted for country’s security and for our European choice… I wish this day to become the day of victory first and foremost for our country.”
Presidential candidate, Nino Burjanadze, said after casting ballot: “My expectation is that elections should be held freely, fairly and democratically. In that case I am confident about [election] results.”
“It is the duty of the authorities to secure free and fair elections and I hope the authorities will do that. The pre-election period was much better than in previous [elections] and I hope they [the authorities] will not be tempted to rig the ballot now [on the election day],” Burjanadze said and added that her campaign headquarters was receiving reports about some “major violations.”