The President of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პრეზიდენტი, translit.: sakartvelos p'rezident'i) is the constitutional Head of State of Georgia as well as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces. They represent Georgia in foreign relations. The constitution defines the presidential office as "the guarantor of the country’s unity and national independence."
The President's role is largely ceremonial as in many parliamentary democracies. Prime Minister is the head of government. The office was first introduced by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia on 14 April 1991, five days after Georgia's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. The President serves a five-year term.
|President of Georgia|
since 16 December 2018
|Appointer||Direct popular vote, Electoral College (From 2024)|
|Term length||Six years (from 2018 to 2024 only)|
Five years (from 2024 onward)
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of Georgia|
|Formation||14 April 1991|
|First holder||Zviad Gamsakhurdia|
Any citizen of Georgia having the electoral right, who has attained the age of 40 and who has lived in Georgia for at least 15 years, may be elected President of Georgia. The office cannot be held by a citizen of Georgia who is simultaneously the citizen of a foreign country. The President of Georgia shall not be a member of a political party.
According to the 2018 version of Georgia's constitution, starting in 2024, the President will be elected for a five-year term by the 300-member Electoral College, consisting of all members of the Parliament of Georgia and of the supreme representative bodies of the Autonomous Republics of Abkhazia and Adjara, also members from the representative bodies of local-self-governments (municipalities). The same person may be elected President of Georgia only twice. No less than 30 members of the Electoral College shall have the right to nominate a candidate for the President of Georgia. The election of the President of Georgia is appointed by the Parliament for October.
No less than one third of the total number of the members of Parliament has the right to raise the question of impeachment of the President of Georgia. They can be considered impeached if the decision is supported by at least two thirds of the members of Parliament. The procedure of the impeachment of the President is constitutionally banned during a state of emergency or martial law.
1. The President of Georgia shall:
a) with the consent of the Government, exercise representative powers in foreign relations, negotiate with other states and international organisations, conclude international treaties, and accept the accreditation of ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of other states and international organisations; upon nomination by the Government, appoint and dismiss ambassadors and other heads of diplomatic missions of Georgia;
b) conclude a constitutional agreement with the Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Georgia on behalf of the state of Georgia;
c) call the elections of Parliament and local self-government bodies in accordance with the Constitution and the procedures established by the organic law;
d) upon nomination by the Government, appoint and dismiss the Commander of the Defence Forces of Georgia; appoint one member of the High Council of Justice; participate in the appointment of the Chairperson and members of the Central Election Commission of Georgia in cases defined by the organic law and in accordance with the established procedure; upon nomination by the Government, submit to Parliament candidates for the membership of the national regulatory bodies;
e) decide on citizenship issues in accordance with the procedures established by the organic law;
f) pardon convicts;
g) in accordance with the procedures established by law, grant state awards and rewards; highest military ranks, special ranks and honorary titles; and highest diplomatic ranks;
h) be entitled, upon recommendation by the Government and with the consent of Parliament, to suspend the activity of a representative body of a territorial unit, or to dissolve such a body, if its activities threaten the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the country, or the exercise of constitutional powers by state bodies;
i) exercise other powers determined by the Constitution.
2. The President of Georgia shall have the right to call a referendum on issues defined in the Constitution and law, at the request of the Parliament of Georgia, the Government of Georgia or no less than 200 000 voters, within 30 days after such a request is received. A referendum shall not be held in order to adopt or repeal a law, to grant amnesty or pardon, to ratify or denounce international treaties, or to decide issues that envisage the restriction of fundamental constitutional human rights. Issues related to calling and holding referendums shall be defined by the organic law.
3. The President of Georgia shall have the right to address the people. The President shall annually submit a report on crucial state-related issues to Parliament.
Prior to assuming office, on the third Sunday after the election day, the newly elected President of Georgia shall address the people and take the following oath of office:
The President enjoys immunity. During his/her period in office, he/she may not be arrested, and no criminal proceedings may be instigated against him/her. In the case of the inability of the President of Georgia to exercise powers, or in the case of the early termination of the President's term of office, the Chairperson of Parliament shall perform the duties of the President of Georgia. Security of the President of Georgia is provided by the Special State Protection Service.
The standard is adapted from the national flag of Georgia, charged in the center with the Georgian coat of arms. Copies of the standard are used inside the President's office, at the Chancellery Building, other state agencies, and as a car flag on vehicles bearing the President within Georgian territory.
After Georgia formally seceded from the Soviet Union on 9 April 1991, the Supreme Council voted, on 14 April, to create the post of executive President, and appointed Zviad Gamsakhurdia to the office pending the holding of direct elections. In the nationwide elections to this post, on 26 May 1991, Gamsakhurdia won a landslide victory, becoming the first President of the Republic of Georgia. Gamsakhurdia was ousted in a military coup d'état in January 1992. He continued to function as a president-in-exile until his death in a failed attempt to regain power in December 1993.
In the post-coup absence of legitimate power, a position of the Head of State was introduced for Georgia's new leader Eduard Shevardnadze on 10 March 1992. After the adoption of a new Constitution on 24 August 1995, the post of president was restored. Shevardnadze was elected to presidency on 5 November 1995, and reelected on 9 April 2000. He resigned under pressure of mass demonstrations known as Rose Revolution on 23 November 2003. After Nino Burjanadze's brief tenure as an Acting President, Mikheil Saakashvili was elected on 4 January 2004. He did not serve his full first term, but voluntarily resigned to defuse tensions in the aftermath of the 2007 Georgian demonstrations and brought the presidential elections forward from the original date in autumn 2008. He was reelected on 5 January 2008. The President's constitutional power was significantly curtailed in favor of the Prime Minister and the Parliament in a series of amendments passed between 2013 and 2018. After the election of Giorgi Margvelashvili to presidency in October 2013, Georgia finalized its transition to a parliamentary republic. In November 2018, Salome Zurabishvili, became Georgia's first female president in permanent capacity and, according to the new constitution, the last president to be elected by a direct vote. In view of these changes, she is set to serve a term of six years.
|Picture||Term||Took Office||Left Office||Party|
|1||14 April 1991
26 May 1991
|6 January 1992
|Round Table – Free Georgia|
|1||26 November 1995
|30 April 2000||Union of Citizens of Georgia|
|2||30 April 2000
|23 November 2003|
(Forced to resign)
|23 November 2003||25 January 2004||United National Movement|
|1||25 January 2004
|25 November 2007|
|25 November 2007||20 January 2008|
|2||20 January 2008
|17 November 2013|
|1||17 November 2013
|16 December 2018||Georgian Dream|
|1||16 December 2018
Blake Ragsdale Van Leer (August 16, 1893 – January 23, 1956) was the fifth president of Georgia Institute of Technology from 1944 until his death.Chief of Defense Forces (Georgia)
The Chief of Georgian Defense Forces (Georgian: საქართველოს თავდაცვის ძალების მეთაური, translit.: sakartvelos tavdatsvis dzalebis metauri) is a chief of defence and commander of the Defense Forces of Georgia, under the authority of the President of Georgia, who is the supreme commander-in-chief. The position was introduced in accordance with the Georgian Law on Defense of 31 October 2018. The first holder of the position and the incumbent is Major General Vladimer Chachibaia.Constitutional Court of Georgia
The Constitutional Court of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს საკონსტიტუციო სასამართლო, translit.: sakartvelos sak'onst'it'utsio sasamartlo) is the constitutional court of Georgia, the country's judicial body of constitutional review, having the greatest significance with the view of securing constitutional provisions and separation of powers, and protecting human rights and freedoms.
The Constitutional Court was established in 1996. The legal basis of its organisation and activity is the Constitution of Georgia, the Organic Law of Georgia "On the Constitutional Court of Georgia", the Law of Georgia "On the Constitutional Legal Proceedings" and the Rules of the Constitutional Court. The legislation underwent several amendments from 2002 to 2018, the constitutional legal proceedings being made simplified and more expeditious. The Constitutional Court of Georgia was moved from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to Batumi, the main city of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, as part of the process of government decentralization, on 5 July 2007.David Devdariani
David Devdariani (Georgian: დავით დევდარიანი) (November 17, 1927 – June 13, 2006) was a Professor of Jurisprudence and Head of Law Faculty at Georgian Technical University. He was the son of the famous Georgian revolutionary Gaioz Devdariani who was executed during the Great Purge in 1938 by orders of Joseph Stalin. David was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and attended the Russian gymnasium in Ukraine. In 1950, just before applying for university studies in Tbilisi, he was arrested by MVD (former NKVD) for being “the son of the enemy of the people” (Russian: "сын врага народа") and charged with Article 58 of counter-revolutionary activities. In KGB operated jail Devdariani suffered a great ordeal of which effects lasted throughout his life.While imprisoned Devdariani began a dissident activities for Independence of Georgia from USSR. In 1956 after condemnation of Stalinism in USSR, Devdariani was released by the orders of Nikita Khrushchev (General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). Soon after his release Devdariani enrolled in the Tbilisi State University and graduated with honours from the Faculty of Law. In the 1970s, he became the Head of the Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence at Georgian Polytechnic University and lived with his sister Medea Devdariani. During the pro-independence movement in Tbilisi in 1989, Devdariani was involved in various demonstrations and activities for the support of Georgian independence. In 1992-1993, he began petitioning and working for the peaceful conflict settlement in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. Devdariani wrote numerous appeals and letters to the United Nations, heads of G8 and introduced his reform proposal of United Nations Security Council to Kofi Annan. Devdariani published numerous books and articles on Law, United Nations reforms and Conflictology. In 2001, Devdariani was awarded Order of Honor (Honor Medal is awarded to Georgian citizens who actively participated in the revival of Georgia and devoted themselves to noble deeds) by the President of Georgia Edward Shevardnadze for his contributions for the study of Jurisprudence and raising the awareness about the tragedy in Abkhazia. In 2005, he published the book: "The Oath Book of the 21st Century," which contained propositions and recommendations for the reformation of UN and the peaceful settlements of Post-Soviet conflicts. David Devdariani died in Tbilisi on June 13, 2006 from cancer.Eduard Shevardnadze
Eduard Ambrosiyevich Shevardnadze (Georgian: ედუარდ ამბროსის ძე შევარდნაძე, Eduard Ambrosis dze Ševardnadze; 25 January 1928 – 7 July 2014) was a Georgian politician and diplomat. He served as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party (GPC), the de facto leader of Soviet Georgia from 1972 to 1985 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. Shevardnadze was responsible for many key decisions in Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev Era including reunification of Germany. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he was President of Georgia (or in equivalent posts) from 1992 to 2003. He was forced to retire in 2003 as a consequence of the bloodless Rose Revolution.
Shevardnadze started his political career in the late 1940s as a leading member of his local Komsomol organisation. He was later appointed its Second Secretary, then its First Secretary. His rise in the Georgian Soviet hierarchy continued until 1961 when he was demoted after he insulted a senior official. After spending two years in obscurity, Shevardnadze returned as a First Secretary of a Tbilisi city district, and was able to charge the Tbilisi First Secretary at the time with corruption. His anti-corruption work quickly garnered the interest of the Soviet government and Shevardnadze was appointed as First Deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. He would later become the head of the internal affairs ministry and was able to charge First Secretary (leader of Soviet Georgia) Vasil Mzhavanadze with corruption.
As First Secretary, Shevardnadze started several economic reforms, which would spur economic growth in the republic—an uncommon occurrence in the Soviet Union because the country was experiencing a nationwide economic stagnation. Shevardnadze's anti-corruption campaign continued until he resigned from his office as First Secretary. Mikhail Gorbachev appointed Shevardnadze to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. From then on, with the exception of a brief period between 1990 and 1991, only Gorbachev would outrank Shevardnadze in importance in Soviet foreign policy.
In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Shevardnadze returned to the newly independent Georgia. He became the country's head of state following the removal of the country's first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Shevardnadze was formally elected president in 1995. His presidency was marked by rampant corruption and accusations of nepotism. After allegations of electoral fraud during the 2003 legislative election that led to a series of public protests and demonstrations colloquially known as the Rose Revolution, Shevardnadze was forced to resign. He later lived in relative obscurity and published his memoirs.First Ladies and Gentlemen of Georgia
The First Lady or First Gentlemen of the Republic of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პირველი ქალბატონები) refers to the spouse or partner of the President of Georgia. The position is currently vacant under President Salome Zurabishvili, who has held the presidency since December 16, 2018. Zurabishvili husband, journalist Janri Kashia, died in 2012 before she became president.Georgian Civil War
The Georgian Civil War comprised inter-ethnic and intranational conflicts in the regions of South Ossetia (1988–1992) and Abkhazia (1992–1993), as well as the violent military coup d'état of December 22, 1991 – December 31, 1993, against the first democratically elected President of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia and his subsequent uprising in an attempt to regain power (1993).
While the Gamsakhurdia rebellion was eventually defeated, the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts resulted in the de facto secession of both regions from Georgia. As a result, both conflicts have lingered on, with occasional flare-ups.Giorgi Margvelashvili
Giorgi Margvelashvili (Georgian: გიორგი მარგველაშვილი; born 4 September 1969) is a Georgian academic and politician who was the fourth President of Georgia, in office from 17 November 2013 to 16 December 2018.
A philosopher by education, he was twice the rector of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs from 2000 to 2006 and again from 2010 to 2012. In October 2012, he became a member of the newly formed cabinet of Bidzina Ivanishvili as Minister of Education and Science of Georgia. In February 2013, he was additionally appointed as First Deputy Prime Minister. Margvelashvili was named by the Ivanishvili-led Georgian Dream coalition as its presidential candidate in May 2013 and he won the October 2013 presidential election with 62% of votes.With Margvelashvili's election, a new constitution came into effect, significantly curtailing the president's powers in favor of the Prime Minister and the Parliament. Shortly thereafter, Margvelashvili's relations with Ivanishvili and the ruling Georgian Dream party leadership soured to the point of a full split. During his tenure, Margvelashvili tried to be a voice of moderation and was critical of the Georgian Dream's consolidation of power. He was the first president in Georgia's history not to seek relection for a second term.Government of Georgia (country)
The Government of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს მთავრობა, translit.: sakartvelos mtavroba) is the supreme body of executive power in Georgia that implements the domestic and foreign policies of the country. It consists of Prime Minister—the head of the government—and ministers and is accountable and responsible to the Parliament of Georgia. The current powers and responsibilities of the Government are governed by the amendments of the Constitution of Georgia passed in 2017 and 2018. From 14 May 1991 to 9 November 1996, the executive government of Georgia was referred to as the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Georgia (საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის მინისტრთა კაბინეტი).The incumbent government is that led by Mamuka Bakhtadze, in office since 20 June 2018. Beyond the Prime Minister, it includes ten ministers and one state minister.Henry King Stanford
Henry King Stanford (April 22, 1916 – January 1, 2009) was president of Georgia Southwestern College (now known as Georgia Southwestern State University), president of Georgia State College for Women (now known as Georgia College & State University), president of Birmingham Southern College, the third president of the University of Miami, and 19th president of the University of Georgia.After Stanford left UGA, the Georgia Board of Regents named him president emeritus of the University.
Stanford's previous academic positions include:
president of Georgia Southwestern College in Americus (1948 – 1950)
president of Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville (1953 – 1956)
president of Birmingham Southern College (1957 – 1962)
president of the University of Miami (1962 – 1981)Jack McDonough (American football)
John J. "Jack" McDonough was a college football player and one time president of Georgia Power. He also coached Savannah High School.Java (town)
Java (Georgian: ჯავა [dʒɑvɑ] (listen); Ossetian: Дзау, Dzaw; Russian: Джава Dzhava) is a town of approximately 1,500 people in Georgia (in South Ossetia). According to Georgia's current official administrative division, Java is a main town of Java district in the north of Shida Kartli region. According to the South Ossetian side Dzau is an administrative center of Dzau district. The town is situated on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, within the Greater Liakhvi Gorge, 1,040 m (3,412 ft) above sea level.
Java is the second largest urban settlement in South Ossetia, after Tskhinvali. It is located outside the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe-defined boundaries of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone – an area within a 15-km radius of Tskhinvali.The town played a major role in the 2008 South Ossetia war, with most of the South Ossetian military forces being located there at the time of the Georgian offensive. During the Battle of Tskhinvali, the government of South Ossetia relocated to Java.
Georgia had accused the Russian military of building a large military base in Java before the war. These concerns were brought by the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, to the attention of the UN General Assembly on September 26, 2007. After the war, Russia announced it was constructing military bases in Java and Tskhinvali, which would be ready in 2010.Medea statue
The Medea statue is a monument to Medea, a Colchian Princess of the Greek mythology erected in Batumi, Georgia.
It was unveiled by the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, on 6 July 2007.Parliament of Georgia
The Parliament of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პარლამენტი, translit.: sakartvelos p'arlament'i) the supreme national legislature of Georgia. It is a unicameral parliament, currently consisting of 150 members; of these, 77 are proportional representatives and 73 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. According to the 2017 constitutional amendments, the Parliament will transfer to fully proportional representation in 2024.
All members of the Parliament are elected for four years on the basis of universal human suffrage. The Constitution of Georgia grants the Parliament of Georgia a central legislative power, which is limited by the legislatures of the autonomous republics of Adjara and Abkhazia.Presidential Administration of Georgia
The Presidential Administration of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პრეზიდენტის ადმინისტრაცია, sakartvelos prezidentis administratsia) is the executive body of administration of President of Georgia. Housed in a refurbished building of the former Imperial gendarmerie, the Presidential administration is located on the left bank of the Kura River, in the Avlabari district of Tbilisi, Georgia.Prime Minister of Georgia
The Prime Minister of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პრემიერ-მინისტრი, translit.: sakartvelos p'remier-minist'ri) is the head of government and chief executive of Georgia. The Prime Minister organizes, directs, and controls the functions of the Government and signs the legal acts of the government. They appoint and dismiss ministers in the government. The Prime Minister represents Georgia in foreign relations and concludes international treaties on behalf of Georgia. They are accountable for the activities of the Government before the Parliament of Georgia.The Prime Minister is nominated by a political party that has secured the best results in the parliamentary election. The nominee must win the confidence vote of the Parliament and then be appointed by the President of Georgia.Romanov Palace (1892–95)
Romanov Palace (Russian: Дворец Романовых; Georgian: რომანოვების სასახლე) also known as Likani Palace (Georgian: ლიკანის სასახლე), is a palace located in Likani, Georgia. Currently it serves as an official residence of the President of Georgia (since 2004). The palace was designed by Leon Benois for Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich of Russia.Salome Zourabichvili
Salome Zourabichvili (Georgian: სალომე ზურაბიშვილი; born 18 March 1952) is a Georgian politician and former French diplomat who currently serves as the 5th President of Georgia, in office since December 2018. She is the first woman to be elected as Georgia's president, a position she will occupy for a term of six years. As a result of constitutional changes coming into effect in 2024, Zourabichvili is expected to be Georgia's last popularly elected president; all future heads of state are to be elected indirectly by an electoral college.
Zourabichvili was born in Paris into a family of Georgian immigrants. She joined the French diplomatic service in the 1970s and went on to occupy a variety of senior diplomatic positions for three decades. From 2003 to 2004, she served as the Ambassador of France to Georgia. In 2004, by mutual agreement between France and Georgia, she accepted the Georgian nationality and became the Foreign Minister of Georgia. During her tenure at the Georgian MFA, she negotiated a treaty that led to the withdrawal of Russian forces from the undisputed parts of the Georgian mainland. She has also served at the UN Security Council’s Iran Sanctions Committee as the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts.
After a falling out with Georgia's then President Mikheil Saakashvili, in 2006 Zourabichvili founded The Way of Georgia political party, which she led until 2010. Ultimately, she was elected to the Georgian Parliament in 2016 as an independent; she vacated her parliamentary seat after being sworn in as President. During the 2018 Georgian presidential election, Zourabichvili ran as an independent candidate and was supported by the governing Georgian Dream party. She prevailed in a run-off vote against Grigol Vashadze.Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Zviad Gamsakhurdia (Georgian: ზვიად გამსახურდია, tr. Zviad K'onst'ant'ines dze Gamsakhurdia; Russian: Звиа́д Константи́нович Гамсаху́рдия, tr. Zviad Konstantinovich Gamsakhurdiya; March 31, 1939 – December 31, 1993) was a Georgian politician, dissident, scholar, and writer who became the first democratically elected President of Georgia in the post-Soviet era. Gamsakhurdia is the only Georgian President to have died while formally in office.
Leaders of Georgia since 1918
|Democratic Republic of Georgia|
Chairmen of the Revolutionary Committee
First Secretaries of Georgian Communist Party
* denotes acting head of state
Heads of state and government of Europe