(AP) Georgia inaugurates philosopher as president
By MISHA DZHINDZHIKHASHVILI
Georgia has inaugurated a new president, 44-year-old philosopher and former university rector Giorgi Margvelashvili.
His inauguration brings to an end the nearly decade-long presidency of Mikhail Saakashvili, who aligned this former Soviet republic with the United States and put it on the path toward integration with the European Union.
The new president has little political experience and is seen as beholden to the billionaire prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose coalition drove Saakashvili’s party from power in last year’s parliamentary elections.
Margvelashvili won last month’s presidential election with 62 percent of the vote. He has pledged to maintain the pro-Western course while also working to decrease tensions with Russia.
Saakashvili refused to attend Sunday’s inauguration, citing the criminal prosecution of several of his former ministers and members of his party.