PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili pays tribute to anniversary of historic referendum on independence

Georgia’s first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Photo by National Library., 31 Mar 2016 - 13:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili joined celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the country's 1991 national referendum on independence by saying the historic event had laid the foundations for Georgia's current development as "a European country”.

On this day 25 years ago a referendum was held in Georgia that led to the country gaining independence from the Soviet Union.

Kvirikashvili opened today’s Governmental meeting by noting the historic importance of the March 31, 1991 referendum. He stressed the fact this referendum expressed the wish of the entire country and its diverse ethnic population.

Twenty-five years ago the Georgian people, along with Abkhazians and Ossetians, expressed their wish for Georgia's state independence. It was a result of this independence that Georgia began a new stage of development and the fact that we are today building an independent, European country,” said Kvirikashvili.

Georgia's Prime Minister also paid tribute to the late first president of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia (1939-1993), who called the referendum during his term in office.

This victory was achieved by the many people who were part of the national movement during those very important years however the principal share goes to the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia."
We all believe that Georgia will become a country its every citizen dreamt about on March 31, 1991,” he said at the conclusion of his address.

The March 31, 1991 national referendum on independence was organised by the country's Supreme Council during the last year of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The referendum asked the population whether they wished to see a restoration of Georgia's independence based on the country's formal act of sovereignly dated May 26, 1918.

The public poll included the population of the now-breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and involved over 3.3 million people – which was 90.3 percent participation.

The results of the referendum saw 98.9 percent of people vote for Georgia's independence.

The Supreme Council approved the Act of the Restoration of Georgia's Independence on April 9, 1991.