Official election results published
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 16After investigating all complaints the Central Election Commission, CEC, announced the official final results of the May 30 local elections on June 15. This resulted in Gigi Ugulava being officially named Tbilisi Mayor.
The final result gave Ugulava 52.2 % of the total votes at the Tbilisi Mayoral elections. In the proportional contests for Tbilisi City Hall the National Movement won 14 of the 25 available seats, the Alliance for Georgia 5, the Christian-Democratic Movement 3, the National Council 2 and Industry Will Save Georgia 1. All the first-past-the-post contests in the 25 single member constituencies were won by National Movement candidates. The National Movement also won three Parliamentary by-elections in Chughureti, Gurjaani and Ozurgeti.
Nationally 49% of voters participated in the local elections. In Tbilisi the turnout was 46.7%. More than 30,000 international and local observers monitored the elections. The CEC registered 36 local and 28 international organisations as observers and 54 media outlets. “We have already seen what areas we need to work on so that the next elections are as transparent as possible and meet democratic standards. The Central Election Commission has already started working on a reform strategy,” Chairperson of the CEC Press Service Juli Giorgadze stated.
The preliminary assessment of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is that the elections were held according to democratic values. "The election administration has managed to hold the elections professionally and transparently. There has been an obvious advance towards fulfilling the European Union and OSCE demands,” says an excerpt from the assessment published on the CEC's website.
Member of the US House of Representative Allyson Schwartz has sent a letter to fellow members of the U.S. Congress concerning the local elections. “As evaluated by international monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the elections marked very positive progress towards meeting international standards for democratic elections; while there still remained some technical irregularities in the administration of the elections, overall the elections were organized in a transparent, inclusive and professional manner. We are encouraged by the Central Election Commission’s efforts to increase transparency and its responsiveness to electoral concerns, and look forward to continuing to work with the Republic of Georgia to help them fully realise free and fair elections,” the letter says.
President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili has again commented on the local elections. "Through these elections the Georgian people gave an adequate answer to those who wish marginalise us and see us in slavery. We have got 66% of the votes, but this means we have a great responsibility as well. Another positive side of these elections is that practically all sides have recognised the election results as valid. This was the first time a civilized election campaign has been held in Georgia,” Saakashvili stated.
Almost all opposition parties are still calling the elections undemocratic and falsified and say they will continue to fight, especially from within Tbilisi City Hall. "We have make some interesting and important initiatives and we are going to fulfill from City Hall,” Inga Grigolia from Christian Democrats said.
It has been reported that the post of Deputy Leader of Tbilisi City Council will be offered to the opposition and some legislative changes are being made which will require the municipality to increase the number of these. At present only one is required.