The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 29
Research says 22.4% would vote for Georgian Dream and 21.7% for the United National Movement party

According to the results of a survey conducted by a German-U.S organization, GFK, 22.4% of those questioned said they would vote for Georgian Dream, while 21.7% opted for the United National Movement party for the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 8 later this year.

A total of 7.8% of respondents named Paata Burchuladze’s party, while another 6.2% said they would vote for the Free Democrats.

The rest of the results are as follows: Nino Burjanadze,Democratic Movement - United Georgia stood at 1.6%; Republican Party 0.6%; New Georgia – Giorgi Vashadze, 0.5%; Political Center Girchi, 0.3%; Georgia’s Way – Salome Zurabishvili, 0.2%; Free Georgia –Kakha Kukava, 0.2%; National Forum, 0.1%.

A total of 3.9% said they would not vote for any of the parties, while 10.0% refused to answer and 19.4% said they have not decided yet. (IPN)

GDDG &Conservative Parties in Talks over Possible Electoral Cooperation

Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party is holding consultations with one of its coalition partners in Parliament, the Conservative Party, regarding cooperation in the upcoming elections.

“We have yet to decide how we will run in the elections. We are now in consultations with the Georgian Dream-[Democratic Georgia] party and the results will be known in the near future,” MP Giga Bukia of the Conservative Party told on Monday without giving any further details.

A senior lawmaker from the GDDG party, Zviad Kvatchantiradze, confirmed that consultations with the Conservative Party had been held, but declined to discuss whether GD would be supporting Conservative Party candidates in several single-mandate constituencies or if some of its leaders would be put in GDDG’s final party list.

There have been reports in the Georgian media that GDDG may not field its candidates in a number of single-mandate constituencies, and instead support candidates from the Conservative Party in those districts. In Georgia’s mixed electoral system, 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-member constituencies, known in the country as “majoritarian” mandates, and the remaining 77 seats are allocated proportionally under a party-list contest among political parties, which clear a 5% threshold.

The Georgian Dream ruling coalition announced on March 31 that its members (GDDG; Republican Party; Conservative Party; Industrialists, and National Forum) were parting ways for the upcoming parliamentary elections, meaning that they would no longer run under the joint ticket.

The Conservative Party appears to be the only one among former coalition partners with whom the GDDG is in talks with over possible cooperation in the upcoming elections.

Irakli Kobakhidze, Secretary General of GDDG, told reporters on June 27 that the process of selecting its majoritarian MP candidates in single-mandate constituencies is almost over and the list is expected to be presented in early July. (

Early evacuation averted tragedy as new landslide hit Georgia-Russia border

Georgia airlifted 60 people to the border crossing at Larsi on Sunday. The travellers had been stuck in Kazbegi since Thursday night, when a mudslide cut off a section of road in Dariali Valley.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) said around 60 people who were heading to Russia were transported by helicopters belonging to the Georgian border police.

A mudslide struck in the night of June 23, destroying an 800 meters long section of the Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi road, according to the Road Department. No-one was injured, but some people were stranded along the road, the MIA said.

Two years ago, the road through Dariali Valley - which connects Russia and Georgia - was hit by two catastrophic landslides. Six people were killed in May, while two more died in another landslide in August same year. The cause was that large masses of ice broke loose from Devdoraki Glacier.

Since then, the government has installed a warning system. When authorities last week received warning of heavy downpour in the mountains, this enabled them to close the road and evacuate tourists, locals and employees at Larsi border crossing in time to avert further tragedy.

The road is still closed between the 134km and 135km mark along the Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi road, above the village Gveleti, and the border crossing to Russia is not operational.

Meanwhile, the Road Department has begun clean-up work and repairs along the bed of the River Tergi. The river changed its course after being flooded, and digging work is now underway to get the river back to where it ran before Thursday’s mudslide. (DF watch)