An electoral worker checks the identity of a voter at a polling station in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, on Oct. 27, 2013. Georgians went to the polls Sunday to elect a successor to outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili. Some 3.5 million eligible voters will cast their votes, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC). (Xinhua/Ding Yuan)
TBILISI, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Sitting Georgian parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili lauded the country's presidential election Sunday, saying it marked a new era of peaceful transfer of power.
"In our state, this day will mark the beginning of implementing a new practice of removing the president from office peacefully, without clashes and confrontation," the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia coalition member said.
"This year, the situation has been relatively improved; today, we can vote without any problems or pressure; and this is a really great achievement of ours," he said.
He also said he believed the era of a problematic presidential rule had ended.
Georgia held its sixth presidential election since independence in 1991 to elect a successor to outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has served the maximum two full terms permitted by the Georgian constitution.
The candidate winning this year's poll will become Georgia's fourth elected president.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the South Caucasus country's first elected president, was toppled by a coup d'etat, while its second, Eduard Shevardnadze, was ousted by violent protests which could have led to further bloodshed if he had not resigned.
Saakashvili, offered to resign early to calm public fury over questionable parliamentary elections but he won the snap election to be reinstated as the president.