Dispatch from Tbilisi: Parliamentary Election Results and What They Mean

On October 2, 2012, the Atlantic Council hosted an on-the-record members’ conference call with Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Risch (R-ID) who provided a firsthand perspective on Georgia’s historic parliamentary elections.


With President Saakashvili conceding defeat in Monday’s parliamentary elections and announcing that his United National Movement will move into opposition, Georgia is undergoing its first peaceful transfer of power via elections since independence. The Senators provided Council members with an on-the-ground perspective on the atmosphere in the country after a peaceful election day where the opposition Georgian Dream, led by billionaire Ivanishvili, managed to come from behind to a solid victory. The call was an opportunity for our members to gain insights in a fast-developing situation beyond the headlines and to begin to discuss with leaders in the US Senate the way forward in relations with Georgia.

Jeanne Shaheen is a Democratic senator from New Hampshire and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe. She also serves on the committees on Armed Services; Energy and Natural Resources; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She was elected to the US Senate on November 4, 2008 and previously served three two-year terms as governor of New Hampshire, in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

James E. Risch is currently serving as Idaho’s twenty-eighth senator. He was elected to the United States Senate in November of 2008, after serving as Idaho state senator, lieutenant governor, and governor. He currently serves on five senate committees, including the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Committee on Foreign Relations; Select Committee on Intelligence; Select Committee on Ethics; and Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

This conference call is part of a larger series of Corporate and Individual members’ programming, which seeks to provide members the opportunity to dialogue directly with experts and policymakers on the most relevant topics of the day.


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