Georgia Leaders Stats


Giorgi Margvelashvili took office in November 2013, bringing to an end the decade-long presidency of charismatic reformer Mikhail Saakashvili.

He cruised to victory with around 62% of the vote at an election the previous month.

Mr Margvelashvili, a former philosophy lecturer, assumed a weakened role because constitutional changes that come into force with his inauguration transferred a raft of key powers from the president to the prime minister.

He has little political experience and is seen as beholden to the billionaire prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose coalition drove Mr Saakashvili's party from power in the 2012 parliamentary elections.

Mr Margvelashvili's inauguration marked the formal end of Mr Saakashvili's tumultuous decade in power which saw him transform the tiny Caucasus nation while getting sucked into the disastrous five-day war with Russia.

Mr Saakashvili, the larger-than-life friend of the US, came to power after the 2003 Rose Revolution and rammed through reforms to slash corruption, renovate infrastructure and kickstart the devastated economy.


Head of state > Term limit for head of state 5 2014 94th out of 145
President Giorgi Margvelashvili 2013
President > Summary Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) with President Giorgi Margvelashvili 2013
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili 2013
Prime Minister > Profile

Parliament approved Mr Ivanishvili as prime minister in October 2012, after his Georgian Dream coalition's surprise win in general elections.

One of Georgia's richest men, Bidzina Ivanishvili announced in October 2011 that he was forming the coalition to challenge the eight-year rule of President Saakashvili.

Relations between the two men are not good. Mr Saakashvili's party accused Mr Ivanishvili of serving Russian interests and tried to revoke his Georgian citizenship ahead of the election. Since then Mr Saakashvili has pledged to work with the new government for his remaining year as president.

Mr Ivanishvili made his fortune in Russia, and is widely seen as more likely to try to restore relations with the powerful neighbour to the north. Critics fear that he will also be more likely to align Georgia with Russia on geopolitical and trade issues, althought the prime minister has paid lip service to President Saakashvili's aims of joining Nato and the European Union - neither of which is a realistic prospect.

Forbes magazine lists him 153rd in its 2012 list of billionaires, with an estimated wealth of $6.4bn. Georgia's annual GDP, in contrast, is $14bn. He made most of his money in Russia during the privatisation wave of the 1990s, and owns banks, chains of shops and housing projects in that country.

Georgian Dream is a highly diffuse group of parties, ranging from pro-Western liberals and nationalists to socialists and supporters of closer ties with Russia, and Mr Ivanishvili's enduring challenge will be to hold it all together.



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