"Since emerging from the collapsing Soviet Union as an independent state in 1991, Georgia has again become the arena of conflicting interests. Increasing US economic and political influence in the country has long been a source of concern for neighbouring Russia, as have Georgia's aspirations to join NATO and the EU." - says BBC country profile page on Georgia.

 

Currently, Georgia's political system can be described as a semi-presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. The President of Georgia is considered the head of state, while the Prime Minister of Georgia is the head of government. The President (to a lesser extent) and the Government wield executive power. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the unicameral Parliament of Georgia.

 

After peaceful protests known as the Rose Revolution ousted former President Eduard Shevardnadze in late 2003, the United National Movement party and president Mikheil Saakashvili governed the country from 2004 to 2013. Since the Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia has pursued democratic reforms, such as strengthening checks and balances, reducing corruption and improving electoral processes, as well as ever-deepening integration with the West. The UNM was effective in combating low-level graft, strengthening state institutions, and diminishing both organized and petty criminality, but they ruled amid allegations that the state agenda often ran contrary to the rule of law, and power was concentrated among a small circle of UNM elites.

 

The August 2008 war with Russia provided temporary political unity, but demonstrations and calls for Saakashvili’s resignation started to resurface towards the end of 2008. The non-parliamentary opposition organized demonstrations that lasted from April-June 2009, demanding Saakashvili’s resignation.  It was becoming clear that Georgia was suffering from “regime fatigue” and polarizing political divisions.

 

The October 2012 parliamentary elections led to the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in the country’s post-Soviet history.  According to the OSCE’s election report, freedom of association, assembly, and expression were respected overall during the pre-election period.

 

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party won an overwhelming victory, obtaining full control over the formation of a new government and Georgian Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder and leader of the Georgia Dream coalition, became prime minister, resulting in an uneasy cohabitation period with Saakashvili. Ivanishvili resigned from the premiership in 2013, upholding his promise to remain in office only briefly. Despite Ivanishvili’s departure, he remained active in GD party affairs, leading to accusations from the UNM and other opposition politicians that he maintained power through informal means and was therefore unaccountable.  Among these allegations, Ivanishvili recently announced his return to politics as the head of the party. Saakashvili, on the other hand, after resigning tried to make a high profile political career in Ukraine, and even changed his citizenship. He soon ended up as an opposition figure, though, to which the Ukrainian government responded by suspending his citizenship and deporting him. His party fared little better as several popular figures decided to split from the party, creating a new faction - The European Georgia.

 

Current President of Georgia is Giorgi Margvelashvili, a phlosopher. the government is headed by from Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili, while Tbilisi city mayor is retired  footballer Kakhi Kaladze