Salome Zurabishvili

Salome Zurabishvili

President of Georgia
3 articles
Short biography

Salome Zurabishvili is the first female president in the history of independent Georgia and the last president of the country elected by direct vote of the citizens (since November 28, 2018).

Salome Zurabishvili was born in the French capital. Her parents were Georgian immigrants who fled to Paris from Soviet rule.

Zurabishvili graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Science in 1972 and from Columbia University in the United States in 1973 .

Zurabishvili has worked for the French Foreign Ministry for 30 years since 1974 .

In 2003 , Zurabishvili was appointed ambassador of France to Georgia, where she worked for a year.

In 2004 , Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili first granted her Georgian citizenship and then offered her the post of Foreign Minister. One of her greatest successes as Foreign Minister was Zurabishvili's decision to withdraw Russian military bases from the country.

In 2005 , she left her post as Foreign Minister and joined the opposition, where she founded and led the opposition "Public Movement of Salome Zurabishvili", renamed in March 2006 into the "Way of Georgia" party. The party program of the politician focused on "real and effective democracy" as well as on "Georgian values justified by history". The former minister described the United States as Georgia's main foreign policy partner. Zurabishvili also noted the need to normalize relations with Russia.

In 2010 , Zurabishvili was disappointed in Georgian politics and left for France. According to her, she took this decision after being convinced that there was no democracy in Georgia and that the opposition could not work in the country.

In 2016 , Zurabishvili finally returned to Georgian politics, becoming a member of the Georgian parliament. She was supported by the ruling party Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia.

On October 28 , 2018, the first round of the presidential election in Georgia was held, in which Zurabishvili received 38.64 votes.

On November 28 , 2018, according to the results of data processing from 100% of polling stations, 1 million 147 thousand 627 people (59.52% of voters) voted for Zurabishvili in the second round of the presidential election.

During the pre-election period, the politician was repeatedly attacked in social networks. The former "Frenchwoman" was criticized for her mistakes in Georgian speech and foreign accent. Zurabishvili is convinced that the Russian-Georgian conflict was started by Georgia in 2008.

Zurabishvili is a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Honor of the French Republic. She holds dual French and Georgian citizenship. In addition to French and Georgian she speaks Russian, English, German and Italian.

Personal life: widowed, has two children.

Zurabishvili has been married twice. Her first husband was a Georgian from Iran - Gorjestan Gugushvili. The spouses have two children: daughter Ketevani and son Teymuraz.

The politician's second husband was former Soviet dissident and journalist Zhanri Kashia, who died in 2012.

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