Six parties to contest elections
By Sopo Datishvili
Monday, October 6October 4 was the last day on which political parties intending to participate in the November 3 by-elections could register with the Central Election Commission. It can now be confirmed that six parties will take part in the by-elections in two constituencies in Tbilisi, Vake and Didube. Elections will also be held in Adjara, for a new regional parliament for the Autonomous Republic.
At a meeting on October 4 the CEC decided which numbers would be allocated to three of the contesting parties, Georgian Troupe, We Ourselves and the National Democratic Party, on the ballot paper. The ballot will bear the following party names and numbers: 1. Georgian Politics citizens union, 8. Radical Democrats, 10. Giorgi Targamadze, Christian Democrats, 13. National Democratic Party (NDP), 14. We Ourselves, 15. Georgian Troupe. The CEC has declared that the number of electors eligible to take part is 96,396 in Vake, 70,209 in Didube and 289,956 in the Adjara region.
The CEC explains that two parties, Our Country and Industry will save Georgia didn’t present candidates and have therefore been disqualified from the elections. Vake will be contested by We Ourselves, Georgian Troupe, Christian Democrats and Georgian Politics. Didube will be contested by Georgian Troupe, Radical Democrats, Georgian Politics and National Democratic Party.
Christian Democratic Party member Magda Anikashvili told The Messenger that the party members had decided not to present a candidate in Didube. “We think that the candidates of other opposition parties in Didube are very honourable people and we trust them. The candidate of Georgian Troupe, Natia Mikiashvili, my former colleague, is a very acceptable candidate for us. She is a new face in her party and we fully trust her. As for the National Democrats, ideologically we always were like-minded parties. So we support their candidate, Guram Chakxvadze as well”, Anikashvili says. In Vake constituency, the Christian Democrats will be represented by Tamaz Kvachantiradze. “If he wins this election, Parliament will gain an experienced and erudite member with the national interest at heart,” Anikashvili added.
The main battleground for the Christian Democrats, as it was in the last Parliamentary election, will be the Adjara region. The party prides itself on presenting a list in which three of the first six candidates are University professors. Party leader Giorgi Targamadze is going to make an official presentation of his candidates this week. Christian Democrats say that their prospects are great in these elections and that they are expecting to take around 30% of the vote in their districts.
The leader of Georgian Troupe Jondi Baghaturia says that its election programme is mostly oriented on social problems and healthcare, containing pledges such as raising the minimal pension to the minimum required for existence, free hospital treatment and the continued payment of full time wages to pregnant women. “Our programme also includes the ways to repair the defects of education reform. Grants aren’t enough for students to pay for their studies,” Baghaturia says.
His party also intends to give financial contributions to the families of solders who died in the August war. “They should feel that though their family members have died, they are still helping them in life. It will be moral support for them,” Baghaturia added.
The election campaign will soon be underway. The competing parties will need to show the electorate what their priorities are and how will theyl solve the political, economic and social problems the country certainly doesn’t lack.
The by-elections have been caused by the decision of David Gamkrelidze and David Saganelidze, who were elected at the May Parliamentary elections for Vake and Didube respectively, to refuse to sit in Parliament. Both are members of the New Rights Party.