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As elections approach, political campaigns heat-up

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, August 20
Parliamentary elections are approaching and the political parties continue their pre-election campaigns. Andria Urushadze, the United National Movement’s majoritarian candidate for the Saburtalo district, began his election campaign on August 17. Accompanied by the head of the National Movement’s Tbilisi organization Gigi Ugulava, Urushadze visited the tunnel connecting Vake with Saburtalo.

Emphasizing the importance of Tbilisi’s infrastructural development, Ugulava said that the local people would receive double the benefit because of the large recreational area and new jobs.

UNM majoritarian candidate for the Krtsanisi district, Davit Sakvarelidze, said the rivalry can be expressed through activities, not promises. Sakvarelidze said at Friday’s press conference that the UNM has proved that it can do its job. “The main thing you can promise the voters is that you will never lie to them,” Sakvarelidze said, discouraging “politically engaged” people from building their election strategy “on promises and dreams.”

One of Sakvarelidze’s opponents in the Krtsanisi district is actor Zaza Papuashvili. He will represent Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream. Papuashvili recollected how President Mikheil Saakashvili called the intelligent part of society “washed off” “mummies” and said that these arts people have created “masterpieces” for Georgia.

Coalition’s majoritarian candidate in Sagarejo, Kakheti, Tina Khidasheli, said people in the 21st century talk about unimaginable problems there. She said they have no water, no gas, feel cold in the winter and have the threat of snakes in the summer while their kindergarten is about to be demolished and the village located at the border has no ambulance.

Tea Tsulukiani, the Georgian Dream’s majoritarian candidate in Nadzaladevi district, promised to work hard for the welfare of the local population if she becomes the majoritarian deputy. “Let us wait a little and overcome this hard period with dignity,” she said, stressing that the Georgian Dream will come true starting in October.

Tsulukiani worries that the state spends a lot of money on unnecessary projects when so many people need the state’s support. “Neither Bidzina Ivanishvili nor the Georgian Dream is against the reconstruction of the country,” she said, explaining that whatever has been built in recent years was funded by Ivanishvili and suggested that that money should be spent on important projects in existing towns and villages, not on building new ones like Lazika.

CDM candidate in the Nadzaladevi district, Jaba Samushia, promised to introduce social privileges for families with many children and those facing poverty if the Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) succeeds in the upcoming elections. He also said that if the state thinks more about the families with many children, the country would have less demographic problems.

Giorgi Targamadze, leader of the CDM, spoke of Kutaisi’s majoritarian candidate Giorgi Akhvlediani as a very deserving person who he said would continue fighting for people’s interests as he did in recent years.

Kakha Lataria, the New Right’s candidate in Khobi, in the Samegrelo region, also said that the Georgian government has abandoned the region for years so that the people live in unimaginably bad conditions. Having familiarized himself with the problems the local population are facing in the region, Lataria worried that people have to walk on damaged roads to get to the center and there is no bus that can carry them every day.

The party’s leader, Davit Gamkrelidze, said that if every village had a factory, people would benefit from the local industry and have normal income. The New Rights think that Georgian farmers can hardly keep their own families nowadays, but the small farming industries would employ the local population and also benefit from the development of the state economy.

Free Georgia’s leader, Kakha Kukava, emphasized the fact that economic development, security and territorial integrity are the main issues not only for the region, but for the whole country. However, he considers the “Americanization course” dangerous for the country in all aspects.