Georgian Leaders Honor Country´s First President

Georgia´s first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia would have turned 80 on March 31. Honoring this day, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and other officials went to the Mtatsminda Pantheon in Tbilisi to pay tribute to the former president.

Zviad Gamsakhurdia was born on March 31, 1939. His name is associated with the restoration of Georgia´s independence, being one of the leaders of the national liberation movement. He was elected as the first President of Georgia with 87% of the votes in spring 1991 and later was expelled from the country within a military coup in early 1992.

"Various events will be held in Georgia in connection with the 80th birthday of Zviad Gamsakhurdia today. His contribution to the history of Georgia is exceptional. Restoration of independence and statehood is associated with the name of Zviad Gamsakhurdia. My friends and I pay respect to his memory," said PM Mamuka Bakhtadze at the memorial ceremony.

March 31 marks another historic event for Georgia: the country hold its independence referendum. President Salome Zurabishvili commemorated Gamsakhurdia´s efforts in initiating the referendum, which "opened the path to building the modern Georgian state".

The former President of Georgia died in the village of Khibula, in the Samegrelo region, on 31 of December 1993.

At the memorial ceremony for his 80th birthday PM Bakhtadze called the fact that the mysterious death of Gamsakhurdia has not been investigated "shameful". The president was found dead with a single bullet wound.

"Obviously, it is shameful that the death of the first President of Georgia has not been investigated. Georgian society needs answers to all questions. It is a matter of dignity for our state to provide answers to all questions regarding the case," said the Prime Minister.

By Lisa Maier

Photo Source: IPN

31 March 2019 16:15