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Outgoing Georgian President Saakashvili Visits Brussels

  • RFE/RL

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili after voting in Tbilisi in the presidential election won by the candidate of the rival Georgian Dream coalition.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili after voting in Tbilisi in the presidential election won by the candidate of the rival Georgian Dream coalition.

Georgia's outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili is in Brussels for talks with European Union leaders ahead of the key Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November.

Georgia hopes to sign an Association and Free Trade Agreement with the EU at the November 28-29 summit.

Saakashvili said the summit will become what he called the "final and simultaneously symbolic act" of his presidency.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he hoped Saakashvili's United National Movement party would "continue to make a constructive contribution to Georgia's political debate while in opposition."

Preliminary results from the October 27 presidential poll in Georgia show Giorgi Margvelashvili, the candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, as the clear winner with over 62 percent of the vote.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) praised the poll as "positive and transparent."

"In a positive and transparent election, the Georgian people have confirmed last year's historic and unique -- as far as former Soviet countries are concerned -- peaceful transfer of power. This clean election, following a political cohabitation that was also unique -- as far as former Soviet countries are concerned -- tells that Georgia's democracy is maturing."

In a farewell address late on October 28, Saakashvili -- who was constitutionally forbidden from running for a third term -- said his presidency had been a "fascinating journey" but that "the future has come. It belongs to you."

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and RFE/RL Brussels correspondent Rikard Jozwiak
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