16 Dec 2018 - 17:05
After taking the presidential oath in the historic castle of Telavi, Salome Zurabishvili has been sworn in as the fifth and first ever female president of Georgia.
She will hold office for a six-year term.
The inauguration ceremony of the fifth president of Georgia was attended by 150 high-ranking guests from 55 countries including the former president of France Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo: Georgia's Foreign Ministry press office.
In her oath, President Zurabishvili promised to defend the Georgian constitution, independence and unity, provide for the security of the Georgian people and the prosperity of the entire country.
I take responsibility to be the president of each citizen of Georgia. I appreciate those who did not vote for me. I am also aware some parties have a different position towards the recognition of my presidency.
I will defend the freedom and rights of the citizens, I will be the guarantor of the rule of law. I will be sure to strengthen civil society and improve the political culture.
Now, when I am the fifth president of Georgia, I am proud that we have managed to carry out the transfer process peacefully. One more democratic step has been made,” Salome Zurabishvili said at the ceremony which was attended by 150 high level guests from 55 countries.
In her speech Salome Zurabishvili has emphasised that every former president has made their contribution to the advancement process of the country.
She has also pledged to do all for Georgia's development and help the country achieve its major goals including Euro-Atlantic integration.
Georgia is facing a great challenge now - Abkhazia and South Ossetia are occupied by Russia. There is the occupation line inside the country where our citizens are being kidnapped. This is not acceptable for a sovereign state. We are not going to tolerate this,” President Zurabishvili said.
My congratulations to #Georgia’s first democratically elected woman President @Zourabichvili_S on her inauguration day! I wish her every success in the important endeavors that lie ahead of our country!— Mamuka Bakhtadze (@BakhtadzeMamuka) December 16, 2018
The inauguration ceremony was hosted at a site of historical residence of Georgian kings in Telavi. Photo: David Tabagari.
A number of new regulations, including constitutional amendments, also came into force today.
The constitutional reform carried out in 2017 introduces a new model of government which is characteristic for a parliamentary republic, meaning that the next president will not be elected directly by the people.
The new president after Zurabishvili will be elected for a five-year term by a special 300-member council starting in 2024.