Georgia election: World reaction in quotes

The historic election defeat of the ruling United National Movement (UNM) in Georgia is being seen as a milestone for democracy in the ex-Soviet state.

Below is national and international reaction to the dramatic victory of the Georgian Dream bloc from politicians and commentators.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili

There are very deep differences between us and we believe that their views are extremely wrong, but democracy works in a way that Georgian people makes decisions by majority [full text].

Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of Georgian Dream

The people of Georgia need to react to our victory calmly and remember that those who voted for the UNM are our brothers [from Twitter].

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Despite very polarising campaign, Georgian people have freely expressed their will [from Twitter].

Guy Verhofstadt, liberal group leader in European Parliament

‏Congrats to liberals in the Georgian Dream coalition. Peaceful & democratic transition strengthens case for Georgia in EU and Nato [from Twitter]

James Nixey, Chatham House

Assuming Georgia does not erupt into civil war, an initial turn to Russia with Ivanishvili would bring a more immediate economic benefit than a re-engagement with the non-committal West under any Saakashvili-inspired system. Though that equation is far more suspect in the medium- to long-term... [Georgia] remains the country in the former Soviet Union with the most charm, and the most potential (Baltic states apart) to take steps forward. The irony is that Mikheil Sasakashvili will have to lose power to prove it. [full article]

Maxim Yusin, liberal Russian newspaper Kommersant

Saakashvili lost his monopoly on patriotism. The president's claims that all his opponents are agents of the Kremlin... no longer work on the audience. At the same time, Russian politicians should harbour no illusions: no Georgian leader... will recognise the seizure of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Tbilisi will not break its ties with the West and return to Moscow's orbit.

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