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Georgian Dream victorious countrywide

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, Jyly 14
The Georgian Dream coalition (GD) won the run-off election in all cities and regions. The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia released the early results of the municipal elections which shows that GD candidates were victorious achieving an absolute majority. Davit Narmania (GD) defeated Nika Melia (UNM) 72% to 27% for the Tbilisi Mayoral race.

In his initial statement, Narmania thanked Georgian’s for their support, stressing that there will be one special day allocated for meeting with Tbilisi residents at the Mayor’s office when he officially takes the post. He also said that the mayor’s office would be subject to structural optimization, which means the formation of new services.

“As for the staff, all professionals will continue to work, but those who have hindered us over the last 18 months, or who were in various supervisory boards and agencies for political reasons, will be dismissed,” Narmania said, adding that when the vacancies are announced, only qualified individuals would be selected.

Melia recognized that he had been defeated shortly after the early polls were published. However, he did not congratulate his opponent on the victory.

“I cannot congratulate a candidate who to become mayor, it became necessary to arrest a former mayor,” Melia said, referring to Gigi Ugulava. He admitted that he wished Narmania success as mayor.

The coalition unanimously stressed that the government managed to hold exemplary elections and that the Georgian Dream achieved a worthy victory. The party claims that they will continue striving towards Euro-Atlantic institutions with doubled energy. United National Movement members repeated Melia’s statements regarding Ugulava’s detention. Giga Bokeria said that there was an “extremely poor pre-election environment in the country and a poor election day.”

NGOs state that there were procedural shortcomings. However, none of the violations had any influence on the election outcome. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association stressed that they wrote 43 appeals and 34 remarks. The GYLA shares in the opinion that the violations were not severe.

The Embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have congratulated Georgia on holding the run-off elections. As the statement from the three countries reads, the Election Day in Georgia was peaceful with only some minor deviations. However, the statement reads that the detention of the former mayor prior to the run-off made the pre-election environment strained.

The runoff was held in 8 cities and 13 municipalities.