Opposition has 11 out of 50
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 2
The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced the results of the Tbilisi City Council proportional and single member constituency elections on June 1. The opposition will have 11 seats on the new Council.
The ruling United National Movement swept all 25 single member constituencies. By gaining 52.48% of the total votes it also secured 14 of the 25 party list seats which are allocated in proportion to the total vote. The Alliance for Georgia, a four-party coalition, received 17.9% of the vote and secured 5 seats on Tbilisi City Council, followed by the Christian-Democratic Movement with 12%, which translates into 3 seats. The National Council, a three-party coalition, gained 8.3% of the vote and 2 seats and the Industrialists 6.3% and 1 seat. The other nine political parties running for the Tbilisi City Council failed to clear the 4% threshold for representation.
The opposition parties which gained seats on the Council had different ideas about whether to take them. The Alliance for Georgia said it would take its five seats and fight from City Hall for the replacement of the present Government. "Of course the Alliance will not be as represented in City Hall as it should be but we are going to take our seats. Despite great pressure from the authorities the people have given us the chance to continue our battle and we will take this chance,” Salome Zourabichvili, leader of The Way of Georgia, part of the Alliance, said. The Alliance will continue to fight the present Government without taking part in any kind of street rallies. "We have often stated our negative view of street rallies, as these kinds of protest are unattractive to the public,” Zurab Abashidze from the Alliance stated.
The Christian Democrats have already started talking about creating a faction at City Hall. "Three seats are needed to create a faction in the City Council and we will therefore form one”, party leader Giorgi Targamadze said. This idea is also being discussed by the Alliance for Georgia. The National Council plans to both take its seats and fight from the street at the same time. "We will use our mandates to fulfill the promises we made to our voters but at the same we are working on an action plan for how this Government is to be replaced,” Koba Davitashvili, leader of the People’s Party, stated.
The ruling party is ready to collaborate with the opposition representatives. "These elections have shown that normal and constructive relations between political opponents are absolutely achievable. We are ready to collaborate with them. The Government has many times taken into consideration initiatives suggested by the Christian Democrats, for example,” MP Lasha Tordia, stated.
Analyst Soso Tsintsadze said that, "The people will not support any radical action the opposition might take. It would be better for opposition to analyse the reasons for their defeat, as this will help them prepare for the Parliamentary elections. The opposition should also think about uniting, as the results might be fatal if they don't,” Tsintsadze said.
The five new Alliance for Georgia Councillors are Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party, Davit Saganelidze of the New Rights, Zurab Abashidze of Alasania’s party Our Georgia–Free Democrats (OGFD), Victor Dolidze (Georgia’s former Ambassador to the OSCE) of OGFD who and Natela Machavariani of The Way of Georgia. The Christian-Democratic Movement representatives are ex-TV anchor Inga Grigolia, Jaba Samushia and Zaza Gabunia. Koba Davitashvili and Kakha Kukava, one of the leaders of the Conservative party, will be the National Council representatives at City Hall. Industry Will Save Georgia will be represented by current member of the City Council Giorgi Tkemaladze.