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Ex-President’s wife UNM’s Majoritarian candidate

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, August 22
The former First Lady of Georgia and wife of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now Odessa's Governor in Ukraine, will run for the majoritarian candidacy in Zugdidi, Samegrelo, for the United National Movement (UNM).

The top candidate of the UNM, David Bakradze, presented Roelofs to voters in the village of Kortskheli, saying she would win the elections in the Zugdidi municipality and then develop the region and the country.

Bakradze also recalled the Kortskheli incident, when UNM members were beaten by supporters of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party during the mid-term elections on May 22. He claimed that Kortskheli would become a symbolic place of a UNM victory in the elections.

The ex-First Lady discussed projects implemented by the previous government and noted that Georgia is now in what she referred to as “pause mode.” She called on locals to vote for the UNM during the October Parliamentary Elections.

Roelofs said it was hard for her to make the decision to go into politics.

“This was a hard decision. However, I am not alone, there are worthy candidates in our team,” she said and added that she would do her best to continue progress of Georgia.

The decision of Roelofs was assessed negatively by the majority. According to Eka Beselia, a GDDG member, the proposal of former first lady is the message of returning recent past.

“The candidacy submission of a family member of Saakashvili, the creator of the most brutal and violent system our country has ever seen, is the message of returning to the past. I am sure that the population of Samegrelo will never vote for them,” Beselia commented.

Another majority member, Irakli Sesiashvili, believes that the presentation of Sandra Roelofs is Saakashvili’s “trick and a political step”.

Sandra Roelofs was the first lady of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. Her husband, Georgia’s third President, Mikheil Saakashvili, is wanted in Georgia andhas lived in Ukraine since 2013, after his Presidential term expired in November.

He was deprived of his Georgian passport right after he was granted Ukrainian citizenship in December 2015, as Georgian legislation prohibits double citizenships if they are not directly permitted by the President of Georgia.