The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party has presented its majoritarian candidates for the country’s Imeretri region. The only distinguished face from the nominees is Koba Narchemashvili, Georgia’s ex-Interior Minister in 2001-2003, in the time of the Rose Revolution.
Ruling party presents candidates for elections
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 20
Georgia has a mixed system in which 73 lawmakers in the 150-seat Parliament are elected in 73 majoritarian single-mandate constituencies, while the remaining 77 seats are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties.
Narchemashvili, with Genadi Margvelashvili and Dimitri Mkheidze will participate in the majoritarian race in Imereti’s main town-Kutaisi.
The remaining candidates are Tsotne Zurabiani for the Tskaltubo region, Shalva Kiknavelidze for the Zestaponi, Elguja Gotsiridze for Terjola-Tkibuli, Paata Kvizhinadze for Sachkere, Grigol Liluashvili for Vani-Khoni, Sulkhan Makhatadze for Chiatura, Koba Lursmanashvili for Baghdati-Kharagauli, and Gia Mikeladze for Samtredia.
From the named candidates, only Narchemashvili was known to the public, and his nomination triggered criticism from the previous ruling (now opposition) United National Movement (UNM) party, which came to power through the 2003 Rose Revolution and was defeated in 2012 parliamentary elections by the current governing Georgian Dream (GD) coalition.
Speaking about Narchemashvili, the main figure of the GDDG, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said that while serving as the Interior Minister, Narchemashvili managed “to avoid serious threat for his country,” referring to possible complications and confrontations during the November 2003 Rose Revolution.
Leader of the UNM Davit Bakradze said the people named by the GDDG “clearly indicated” the party wished to “drag the country into the dark past, to Eduard Shevardnadze’s era.”
Bakradze added that the candidates would do no good for the country, as Georgia required new, young and qualified people in leading positions and in Parliament.
Unlike the top 15 of the election list of the GDDG presented several days ago (which was mainly composed of young people with high-level local and foreign education), the majoritarian candidates appeared less favourable for analyst Gia Khukhashvili.
He stressed that the GDDG tried to change its existing faces with new ones, but the people in the majoritarian list seemed to lack progressive approaches.
With regards to Narchemashvili, Khukashvili said the man was “over-praised” by the PM, as he was not someone who is “capable of changing anything”.
“He is neither a positive nor a negative figure; he did nothing to deserve any of the remarkable epithets to describe his role in politics,” Khukhashvili said.
The analyst added that when Narchemashvili was the Interior Minister the system suffered a range of problems and high level of corruption.
“He might not be corrupt, but he could not provide any positives for the system. With regards to the Rose Revolution developments, he was not such an influential figure to avoid or cause any confrontations,” Khukhashvili added.
The GDDG, which is currently part of the GD coalition, is taking part in the October 8 parliamentary elections together with only the Conservative Party. The remaining parties of the coalition – the Republican Party, the National Forum and the Industrials - are participating separately in the race.
The GD coalition was founded for the 2012 parliamentary elections by Georgia’s ex-PM Bidzina Ivansihvili.