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Inga returns to stand for the City Council

By Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, April 2
Late on Wednesday former Georgian TV anchor Inga Grigolia returned from London after a few months of study to take part in the local elections on May 30. Grigolia, who has led many noisy political debates on various TV talk shows, is top of the Christian Democratic Movement (CDM) election list, being its candidate for Tbilisi City Council Chair.

Grigolia told journalists after her arrival that she would begin her campaign from next week and meet voters in various districts to introduce her programme. “We hope to win these polls. I have many friends among politicians, who I am going to meet within the campaign for consultations,” Grigolia said. “From Saturday Inga Grigolia will begin her election campaign and we hope to win the local elections,” Giorgi Akhvlediani, CDM member, told journalists.

Comments on Grigolia’s entry into politics have been made by various opposition parties. Manana Nachkebia, one of the leaders of New Rights, told The Messenger that, "I can take any political candidate seriously, and especially Inga Grigolia, and I am not going to insult anyone. As for whether I consider Grigolia’s candidacy a threat, I can say that the real threat to us [in the Alliance for Georgia] is the Government, not another opposition party. In my opinion, and the majority of the opposition parties agree with me on this, the opposition can be a serious rival to the Government if we act together and not discourage one another in the fight against the present Government.” The Movement for Fair Georgia's Petre Mamradze told us that he welcomes Grigolia’s participation in the upcoming elections. "It would not be ethical to regard Inga Grigolia as a less serious candidate than all the others. I welcome the fact that a famous journalist is taking part in the elections because she is very good on the issue of media freedom. Of course we fight to win but healthy competition will help ensure free and fair elections and would help identify their real winner.”

Fifteen political parties have submitted applications to the Central Election Commission to participate in the local elections on May 30. However, the ruling National Movement has not submitted its election list to the CEC, neither has it nominated a candidate for Tbilisi Mayor or Head of Tbilisi City Council.

The CEC will discuss the applications in two days. The deadline for submitting applications to the CEC is April 3.

10 non-governmental organisations have been financed by the Open Society Georgia Foundation to ensure the fairness of the elections. They will do this throughout Georgia and their work will involve preventing electoral violations, monitoring the voting process in problematic districts above all and informing the voters about any electoral practice issue.