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DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS
Georgia elects Salome Zurabishvili as first woman President
2018-11-29 10:58:45

Salome Zurabishvili has won Georgia's presidential election, becoming the first woman to hold the office. 

With nearly all votes counted, the ex-diplomat has over 59% of the vote with rival Grigol Vashadze on 40%.

 

Ms Zurabishvili was backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party while Mr Vashadze was a united opposition candidate.

Zurabishvili, 66 was born in France and served as French ambassador to Georgia until becoming Georgia's Foreign Minister in 2004. She was sacked the following year and some Georgians still look at her foreign background with suspicion and criticize her for her contention that Georgia started the 2008 war with Russia.

Vashadze, 60, who served as Georgia's foreign minister in 2008-2012, vowed to re-establish control South Ossetia and Abkhazia by peaceful means. He also vowed to pardon ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was stripped of his citizenship in 2015 and sentenced in absentia for abuse of power.