Georgian president hails his election victory as "will of people"


The winner of Georgian presidential election, Giorgi Margvelashvili, was sworn in as the fourth elected president of Georgia here on Sunday, describing his success as a victory of the will of the Georgian people.

"Today, the victory is our people's will," said Margvelashvili in his inaugural speech, "This victory is revealed in the consolidation of democratic processes."

Nominee of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia coalition, Margvelashvili got 62.12 percent of votes, 40 percent higher than his closest rival Davit Bakradze, representing the former ruling and now parliamentary opposition United National Movement party.

"By ensuring a precedent of transfer of power through parliamentary and presidential elections, we succeeded in moving to a substantially new stage in the development of our state," said the new president.

"The post-Soviet period is over. And the development of a modern type of democracy has started, laying the foundation for a new, European kind of political culture," he continued.

After winning last year's legislative polls, his coalition had not only maintained and strengthened stability in the country while implementing important economic, agricultural, healthcare, educational and social projects, but also managed to hold the presidential poll in compliance with high democratic standards, said Margvelashvili.

"I would like to assure everyone that in my capacity as president, I will serve each and every one of you. I will guarantee equal respect for the rights of every citizen of Georgia," he added.

He said that despite different positions Georgians had taken in the presidential poll, "there is one goal that unites us all, and this goal is peaceful, unified, democratic, developed and free Georgia."

As to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two Georgian breakaway regions recognized by Russia as independent states, the new president called upon people dwelling there to work with Georgians to build a successful democratic country that will guarantee the welfare of all citizens, preserve their ethnic and cultural identities, and respect their political rights.

In all 53 foreign delegations participated in Sunday's inauguration ceremony. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite was among foreign leaders who were present at the swearing-in ceremony.

Lithuania is to host the EU Eastern Partnership summit later this month, which Georgia is scheduled to attend.

While reiterating Georgian support for the Euro-North Atlantic integration, Margvelashvili renewed Georgia's commitment to further dialogue with Russia.

"This dialogue will be built upon unequivocal respect for Georgia's national interests, namely respect for our internationally recognized borders and the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said.

As to the country's future, the new president envisaged that the worst years were gone and the golden age of Georgia would not be possible in the past.

"I see Georgia as a place where its children -- instead of struggling for survival -- lead a decent life, enjoy life, make full use of their talents, and realize their potentials," he concluded.