MP Zourabichvili begins procedure to renounce French citizenship before presidential race in Georgia

31 Jul 2018 - 14:51

  • The Georgian media speculates that the ruling party may support Salome Zourabichvili’s candidacy if she participates in the presidential race.Photo: allnews.ge.
Agenda.ge, 31 Jul 2018 - 14:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Independent MP in the Georgian parliament Salome Zurabishvili, who holds both Georgian and French citizenship, has launched procedures to renounce French citizenship, the head of the Parliament’s Legal Committee Eka Beselia has confirmed.

Zourabichvili, who served as Georgia’s Foreign Minister under the United National Movement leadership and then opposed the party, has launched the procedures just before the Georgian presidential elections this autumn.

If she decides to participate in the race, I believe that she will have the highest chance of winning in the first round of the elections, as she is a very experienced politician,” Beselia said.

The Georgian Dream ruling party has not yet nominated its candidate for the upcoming race.

Head of the party Bidzina Ivanishvili and Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that it would be more welcomed if the ruling party supported an independent candidate in the elections.

The administration of the president of Georgia says that Giorgi Margvelashvili will name the election date by the end of the week.

Margvelashvili has not yet announced his election plans.

  • Zourabichvili,66,  was born in Paris in a family of Georgian political emigrants. She attended some of the most prestigious French schools, such as the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and began a master's program at Columbia University in New York in the academic year of 1972-1973.
  • She abandoned her studies and joined the French foreign service in 1974, becoming a career diplomat with jobs in Rome, the United Nations, Brussels and  Washington.
  • The first time Zourabichvili visited Georgia was in 1986 during a break from her job at the French Embassy in Washington.
  • Salome Zourabichvili was Head of the Division of International and Strategic Issues of National Defence General Secretariat of France in 2001-2003. She was appointed as the Ambassador of France to Georgia in 2003.
  • Mikhail Saakashvili, the 3rd  President of Georgia nominated her as Foreign Minister in his new government and Zourabichvili was the first female to be appointed to this post in Georgia on 18 March 2004.
  • She was fired by former Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli  in  October 2005 after a series of disputes with members of parliament.
  • Shortly before her dismissal was announced, Zourabichvili resigned from the French foreign service, which had continued to pay her a salary while she was minister, and announced that she would remain in Georgia to go into politics.
  • In November 2005 she set up the organization Salome Zourabichvili’s Movement. In January 2006 she announced the establishment of a new political party Georgia's Way.
  • On 12 November 2010, Zourabichvili announced her withdrawal from the leadership of Georgia's Way and continued her career abroad, as a coordinator of UN panel of experts on Iran.
  • In the 2016 parliamentary elections in Georgia, now under the Georgian Dream leadership, Zourabichvili participated as Tbilisi Mtatsminda District majoritarian candidate and won the race, took her seat in the legislative body.
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