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Next up: round two

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 18
Local elections are over in Georgia. The elections scheduled on June 15 revealed that Georgia is on the right path and moving towards democracy.

Almost everybody, including analysts, journalists, opposition representatives, observers both local and foreign, admit that in general, the elections were fair, transparent and objective.

European observers, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps stressed the positive manner in which the elections were conducted. However, there were some violations. According to the observers, most of the violations were not severe, and did not have an influence on the final outcome.

Some people broke into polling stations, damaged ballot boxes, tore the ballot and thus disturbed the election process.

Later, some of those responsible were identified and will face legal action.

There was a case when relatives of a mission member broke into the polling station and destroyed the ballot box there.

The Georgian Dream coalition managed to accumulate more than 40 % of the votes. There will be a second round of elections held in 8 cities. These elections concern Tbilisi as well. In all eight cities, the coalition came first, failing to overcome the 50% threshold. They have twice more votes than the United National Movement.

The votes roughly were distributed as such: Georgian Dream 40%, UNM 20% and Burjanadze-United Opposition 10%. Other parties and their representatives shared the remaining 20%.

The turnout was 43%. This is a poor figure compared with the parliamentary elections in 2012. Tbilisi residents were the most indifferent towards the elections.

Frustration of the election process was not in the interest of the ruling party. Quite on the contrary, as this frustration causes unrest and the belief among coalition constituents that the new government cannot control the situation.

Georgian analysts are unanimous that the second round will be just a formality and that the coalition candidates will win everywhere. The government states that these elections are not just a victory of a single party; it is a victory for Georgia. It is particularly important that the elections were held on the eve of signing the Association Agreement with the EU. The elections have proved that the country is worthy of becoming a member of the European community.