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Election date revealed, field of candidates still unclear

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 3
The presidential campaign has officially been launched. On July 1, President Mikheil Saakashvili announced the date of the Presidential Election as October 31, 2013. The name of the candidate from the Georgian Dream coalition is known; this is Giorgi Margvelashvili. However, the names of the other candidates are not officially available.

Initially the President’s spokesperson announced October 27 as the date of presidential election. However, later the date was changed. The president’s press service explained it as a technical error. The president’s decision to prolong his presidency until the last day was not a surprise to anybody. Either way the election date is now known.

There are more than 100 days left before the election. This fact is welcomed by the politicians, as it provides more time for the candidates to carry out the normal election campaign.

Recent IRI polling has shown that neither of the presidential candidates will receive enough votes to qualify for the presidency in the first round of the elections, thus a second round will be required.

How reliable the IRI research is differs depending who you ask, but the favorite– Margvelashvili– is expected to win the first round with a solid majority, according to coalition leaders.

However, there is another candidate who also claims that she will be victorious. This is the leader of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, who said: “there is no difference because either in the first round or in the second I am sure I will win."

The final United National Movement (UNM) presidential candidate is not yet known as the team is holding primaries prior to selecting a candidate. However, most probably Davit Bakradze will be nominated as the UNM candidate. As many commentators suggest, the UNM is just showing the public that it still has some chances by organizing a show in the form of primaries. In reality, they will hardly manage to receive even 10% of the votes.

Salome Zourabichvili, Paata Burchuladze, and Shalva Natelashvili are also among the possible candidates named by various people and organizations. All the names of the candidates should be known 50 days prior to the elections, which is at the beginning of September.