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Pre-election campaigning starts on June 8

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 12
Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, announced late on May 10 that Georgian political players would be eligible to start their pre-election campaigns on June 8 for the October 8 parliamentary elections.

The President announced the date after his meeting and consultations with Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Prior to the recent meeting, the PM and the President met over the election issues on April 5.

After the meeting, the President said the elections would be held on October 8 but the pre-election campaigning would start from August 8 in order to save budgetary funds.

However, the statement caused a stir amongst the opposition and civil sector, who said starting pre-election campaigning in August contradicted existent legislation and was also insufficient for informing voters about election programs.

Following the controversy, the PM did not sign the President’s decree on the election and the pre-election dates, and asked the President to name July 8 as the starting day for the pre-election campaigning.

Based on the final decision, June 8 was named as the opening date for pre-election campaigning.

The parliamentary majority leader Zviad Kvatchantiradze said the pre-election period was ‘too long’, and would affect the state budget.

He said the PM and the Government were forced to accept the pre-election campaigning date as the issue has turned into a topic of harsh speculations.

Meanwhile, opposition United National Movement (UNM) representatives said the new pre-election campaigning date was acceptable for them.

The head of Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Association Ana Natsvlishvili said the controversy over the pre-election campaigning date would be a good learning curve for the Government, the President and the Central Election Commission as now they would act more carefully concerning selecting of such dates.

A political analyst Gia Khukhashvili, said the recent meeting between the President and the Prime Minister dispelled speculations over the confrontation between the state institutions and revealed a good example of cooperation.