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Google+ Hangout: Georgia Votes

On October 27, Georgians go to the polls to choose a new president to succeed outgoing incumbent Mikheil Saakashvili, who has ruled the country since 2003.

Under recent political reforms, the presidency's authority has been greatly diminished, with most of its powers transferred to the prime minister. So what's at stake?

A lot, actually.

RFE/RL held a Google+ Hangout on this weekend's election with host Brian Whitmore, author of the Power Vertical blog.

He was joined by:
  • Salome Asatiani of RFE/RL's Georgian Service;
  • Tbilisi-based political analyst Ghia Nodia, director of the Caucasus Institute;
  • Thomas de Waal, a South Caucasus expert the Carnegie Center for International Peace in Washington; and
  • Laura Linderman, associate director for the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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