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Speculation continues over presidential elections

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 3
The final list of presidential candidates is not yet available, but speculation regarding the issue is widespread throughout Georgia. Mostly the debates revolve around whether there will be a second round and who will be the number two candidate in the race?

Meanwhile, analysts, journalists and regular citizens keep guessing the result of the upcoming presidential election. However, almost all agree that Georgian Dream coalition candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili will be the front-runner.

Much agitation was followed by the publication of the results of the polling carried out at the request of the coalition by the Research and Advisory Center Psycho-project. The survey was carried out August 8-10, 2013.

According to the results, Giorgi Margvelashvili is predicted to receive 53% of the votes, 9% will vote for Davit Bakradze (UNM), and only 7% for the leader of Democratic Movement United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze.

It should be said from the very beginning that the population is very skeptical of this type of research and polling data, particularly when they are ordered by the particular parties. The research usually reflects the interests of those who have ordered the survey and, therefore, it is suspected that the results are biased. It is widely believed that there is no neutral organization in Georgia able to conduct fair and impartial polling.

The registration of the candidates for presidency expires on September 7. Thus far, almost 50 candidates have registered. Presumably, by September 17, when they have to submit the required number of signatures, this number will decrease considerably.

Nobody doubts that the Georgian Dream candidate Margvelashvili will come first. His major strength is that he enjoys the support of Prime Minister Ivanishvili and his coalition. Despite the fact that he has very little political experience, there is no doubt about his leadership. The question is will he overcome the 50% +1 barrier to receive enough votes and become the president in the first round.

Most analysts suggest that Burjanadze and Bakradze will be the candidates who might come second. For Bakradze and his party it is a crucial moment. If they do not finish second, their party will collapse and gradually disappear. As for Burjanadze she represents the so-called radical voters. Analysts believe that her constituents are those who have been frustrated with the Georgian Dream coalition, as they had expected more radical steps from the coalition.

Because Burjanadze is making broad promises in this direction, presumably, she will attract many supporters. However, not everybody that is turning their back to the Georgian Dream coalition would necessarily go to Burjanadze. These votes might split among the other oppositional candidates like Shalva Natelashvili, Koba Davitashvili or even Salome Zourabichvili (if she is cleared to run). However, neither of these three candidates will receive enough votes to garner any discussion.