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Parliamentary elections to be held on October 1, 2012

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 3
After a long wait and much anticipation, on August first, a date for Georgia’s 2012 parliamentary elections was announced by the President’s Office. While all political parties have been in the pre-election mode, the announcement of the election date officials kicks of the campaigns.

Everybody knew that elections had to be held in October. Though there was much speculation as to the precise date. Many suggested that President Saakashvili would symbolically choose October 5, as the National Movement number is 5 in the elections and generally President Saakashvili likes the number 5. However this choice would have triggered certain awkward problems, as this would have been understood as abusing administrative resources. This decision of the election date is made by only the country’s president.

Needless to say, the president’s decision caused certain discontent for some opposition forces, because during the two-months left before the elections, one of the months is August, the month for holidays for many in Georgia; therefore much of the population will be on holiday. Studies also begin in September, so students will be somewhere around the country or outside, so practically until mid September, the big cities will be empty, suggests David Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights Party. The same argument is made by the Christian Democrats as well. The major opposition force– the Georgian Dream said that it was all the same for the coalition, as spokesperson Maya Panjikidze stated that whatever the date is, we will defeat the ruling power.

The October 1 is a working day – Monday. Generally elections in Georgia were held on Sundays. Of course it will be declared as a holiday for the voters to go to the elections anyway. This is the practice for many countries throughout the world, because the population finds Sunday as a sacred day, many want to be with their families and do not care about the elections. So by announcing a working day as an election day, the state authorities target at receiving a solid turnout. However, this would create problems for Georgian citizens living abroad and working there. It would be very difficult for them to explain to their bosses that they will miss Election Day in Georgia. But this way or another, the official date for the elections is known.