TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — International observers have given their stamp of approval to Georgia's presidential election, characterizing it as "clean" and "transparent."
The election was won easily by Giorgi Margvelashvili, a former university rector.
He was the choice of the billionaire prime minister, who has now consolidated his control over this U.S.-allied former Soviet republic.
Joao Soares, who led an international observer mission, said Monday in a statement that "in a positive and transparent election, the Georgian people have confirmed last year's historic transfer of power."
Margvelashvili will succeed longtime President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose party was defeated in last year's parliamentary election.