Georgia’s ex-president Shevardnadze passes away (UPDATE)
Tbilisi, Georgia, July 7
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
Former Foreign Minister of the USSR, ex-President of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze has today passed away in Tbilisi. He was 86.
He died after suffering from a long lasting illness, according to the ex-president's press service.
Shevardnadze was born on January 25, 1928 in the Mamati village of Lanchkhut District (Guria) of Georgia Soviet Socialist Republic (now Georgia). He was the son of a village teacher.
At various times, Shevardnadze served at different positions in the USSR.
On September 29, 1972, Shevardnadze was appointed the First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party Central Committee.
In 1985, at an invitation from Mikhail Gorbachev, Shevardnadze was transferred to work in Moscow, being appointed a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party and the Foreign Minister of the USSR.
Shevardnadze returned to Georgia in March 1992, and started heading the State Council, established after the overthrow of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
Following the parliamentary elections in October 1992, Shevardnadze became the head of the Georgian state - Chairman of the Georgian Republic's Parliament.
Shortly thereafter, the parliament introduced the position of the head of Georgian state, and on November 6, 1992, Shevardnadze was elected to this post.
The Union of Georgian Citizens Party was established in Tbilisi in 1993, and Shevardnadze became its chairman. On November 5 1995, Georgia held presidential election, which was won by Eduard Shevardnadze, who collected 72.9 percent of the votes.
On February 9, 1998, Shevardnadze survived an assassination attempt. His motorcade was shelled in the center of Tbilisi with a grenade launcher and automatic firearms. The armored Mercedes saved Shevardnadze's life, but two of his guards were killed.
On April 9, 2000 Shevardnadze won the presidential election in Georgia, gaining over 82 percent of the votes.
In November 2003, during the Rose Revolution that took place in Georgia due to the oppositional forces' disagreement with the parliamentary election's results, Shevardnadze was offered to leave the post of president.
Shevardnadze resigned on November 23, 2003, after the country's parliament did not support his proposal to impose emergency situation in the country.
Following this, he lived in a residence handed over to him by the state in the Krtsanisi district.
Edited by S.I.