Eduard Shevardnadze won an overwhelming victory Sunday in Georgia’s presidential elections, and Monday he declared the outcome a vote of confidence in his program to stabilize the country after years of war and economic sacrifice.
The Central Election Commission in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi issued preliminary results according to which Shevardnadze had won 75 percent of the vote. His nearest rival, Dzhumbar Patiashvili, received about 15 percent.
The election commission said turnout was 64 percent of the 3.2 million eligible voters, surpassing the required 50 percent threshold.
Shevardnadze is chairman of the Parliament but will assume the new office of president, serving a five-year term, under a constitution approved this summer.