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On the upcoming presidential elections

By Messenger Staff
Monday, June 3
Slowly, the topic of the upcoming presidential elections has become the main focus of the Georgian media. We can already name some candidates for the position. However, the leading force will be the Georgian Dream and this is clear to all.

Various types of public polls were conduced regarding the outcomes of the presidential elections. According to the polls carried out by Social Research and Analyses, 76% of those questioned intends to participate in the elections and 55% out of those plan to vote for the Georgian Dream candidate. It should be stressed that the Georgian Dream candidate had not been named when the polls were conduced.

Only 11% of those polled said they will vote for the UNM candidate. The polls were criticized by both the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition. They do not agree that the presidential candidate from the Georgian Dream will run first.

Now that the candidate from the Georgian Dream has been nominated, there is much speculation in the media and among the public. He is not a charismatic person, although he satisfies all the criteria for becoming good president for Georgia. As for the UNM, before his detention, Vano Merabishvili was pegged as the frontrunner for the UNM's presidentís candidate. However, after his detention things have become messy and unclear.

The Georgian media continues to intensively discuss the issue of a possible third candidate; the current situation could facilitate the presence of a third party or individual attractive to the population. If the Georgian Dream loses votes, the electorate would rather vote for a third party candidate rather than for the UNM representative. Each political force promotes for its own candidates.

For example, the Christian-Democrats and some smaller parties like Georgian Trope, Traditionalists and the New Rights, back Gia Chanturia's candidacy. However, his support is far from unanimous and it is likely that he will be able to gather few votes.

Nino Burjanadze, one of the leaders of Rose administration and former chair of the Parliament, has nominated herself as a possible candidate. She was twice interim president, once in 2003 after the Rose Revolution, before electing Mikheil Saakashvili and then in 2007, when Saakashvili resigned after the November 7 brutal crackdown of protesters in front of the Parliament. She claims that if the president is elected from Georgian Dream, this fact might create an awkward balance. Again, we think that it is very unlikely that this will be a solid argument to attract the majority of the voters. Georgians are still keen on charismatic personalities like Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili. Thus, the fact that Ivanishvili chose Giorgi Margvelashvili as the Georgian Dream's presidential candidate will definitely have an influence on the voters.