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CEC gives parties a bit more time

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 3
The Georgian Central Election Commission gave parties one more day to present their final election lists on May 2. “The Central Election Commission has made the decision to prolong this term to enable parties to improve their party lists. This resolution will be applied by both the Central Election Commission and Precinct Election Commissions,” Chairperson of CEC Press Service Juli Giorgadze stated. The deadline for presenting party lists to Central Election Commission is now 18:00 today.

9 Mayoral candidates and 14 parties had appealed to the CEC for registration prior to today. The Mayoral candidates are Irakli Alasania, Gigi Ugulava, Zviad Dzidziguri, Gogi Topadze, Nika Ivanishvili, Gia Chanturia, Giorgi Laghidze, Davit Iakobidze and Tamaz Vashadze. The parties which have registered to stand for the City Council elections on May 30, which must now present lists of candidates, are the Georgian Sportsmen's Union, Public Democrats, Industry Will Save Georgia, Democratic Party, Solidarity, Alliance for Georgia, the Party of the Future, Our Georgia, Radical Democrats, United National Movement, Freedom Party, National Council, Christian-Democratic Movement, and the Georgian People's Alliance.

Almost all the candidates and parties participating in the upcoming elections are sure they will win them. "I am sure that after a month Georgian citizens will congratulate us on winning these elections. I can definitely say that we have presented the best party list to the CEC. These people have always fought for a better future and prosperity for Georgian citizens and now need a public mandate for this. I am sure they will be supported by the Georgian people,” Mamuka Katsitadze, from the Alliance for Georgia, said. “The National Council is coming into power and the present Government is doing its best to somehow prevent this. It is absolutely obvious that a certain part of the opposition is playing the Government's game and their anti-Noghaideli or anti-National Council statements can be explained by this," Zurab Noghaideli said. "The present Government is spending a lot of money on winning these elections but its main mechanism is terrorising people. Without terrorising people the Government will not be able to win these elections and Gigi Ugulava will not be Tbilisi Mayor. I am not interested in what international observer missions say about our elections, the most important thing for me is the reaction of Georgian citizens. I can ensure the Government that the National Council will not accept falsified results,” he added.

The Government's Mayoral candidate, Gigi Ugulava, is busy with his campaign and is not responding to his opponent’s accusations. "The most important thing for me is turning Tbilisi into a very developed and beautiful city. I have started going in this direction and will continue to do so if Tbilisi citizens support me,” Ugulava said.

Some parties will take a decision about participating in the elections at the last moment. "We have decided to take part in the upcoming elections. Till the last minute we have done our best to ensure that a single opposition candidate for Tbilisi Mayor was selected but in vain. We will not run a candidate for Tbilisi Mayor as this split the opposition vote further, but we think that the opposition have more chance of winning the City Council elections, so we have presented the CEC our 59 person party list,” Chair of the Freedom Party Sandro Bregvadze said.

MP Jondi Baghaturia’s Georgian Troupe and the Movement for United Georgia will not participate in the upcoming elections. "Our aim in these elections was to overturn Saakashvili’s criminal regime, but unfortunately the opposition parties could not manage to agree on significant issues. It is obvious that these elections will be falsified, as there is no effective election system or law in this country. In this situation we think that participation in these elections will be useless,” the Press Service of the Movement for United Georgia has said. Georgian Troupe has not explained its decision.