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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 30
25 Parties, 7 Blocs Run in Parliamentary Elections

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has registered total of 45 political parties to run in the October 8 parliamentary elections.

Almost half of them have applied CEC for forming 7 election blocs.

Election bloc is a coalition of several political parties, which have decided to run in the elections on the joint ticket.

Deadline for political parties to apply to CEC for registration of election blocs expired on August 26.

Below is the list of 7 election blocs, which the CEC has yet to register:
The United National Movement (UNM) – an election bloc formed by the largest opposition party, which apart of UNM also includes little-known, small party European Georgia; depending on election results, running in elections in a bloc may give some privileges to a larger party in the bloc, like additional seat in CEC; UNM ran in 2014 local elections in a bloc with virtually unknown party;
Paata Burchuladze-State for People – an election bloc led by opera singer Paata Burchuladze’s State for People party, which also includes New Georgia, led by MP Giorgi Vashadze, who quit the UNM party in May 2016; the New Rights Party, led by former MP MamukaKatsitadze, and New Political Center Girchi, led by MP ZurabJaparidze, who quit the UNM party in May 2015 (formally this latter party is not in the list of parties, which have applied for registration as a bloc to CEC).
Nino Burjanadze-Democratic Movement – an election bloc formed by former parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze’s United Democratic Movement party with small and little-known Democratic Movement-United Georgia party;
Alliance of Patriots of Georgia-United Opposition – a 6-party election bloc which along with Alliance of Patriots also unites Free Georgia; Traditionalists; Freedom; New Christian-Democrats, and Political Movement of Law Enforcement and Armed Forces Veterans and Patriots;
Industrialists–Our Homeland – an election bloc formed by Industrialists party, led by MP Gogi Topadze, and Our Homeland, party which is led by Zviad Chitishvili, who has businesses in Russia and dual citizenship of Georgia and Russia; one of the pre-election promises of the Our Homeland party is distribution of Russian passports;
Socialist Georgia – a 2-party election bloc uniting Neutral Georgia, led by pro-Russian Valeri Kvaratskhelia, and United Communist Party;
Ours-People’s Party – an election bloc formed by two small, lesser-known parties: Ours and People’s Party;

Below is the list of 20 political parties, which are running in the elections independently, without forming blocs with other parties:
Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) – the ruling party founded by billionaire ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili;
Free Democrats – founded and led by Irakli Alasania, who was Defence Minister in 2012-2014;
Labor Party – led by Shalva Natelashvili;
Republican Party – led by Davit Usupashvili, who is Speaker of the outgoing parliament;
National Forum – led by MP Gubaz Sanikidze;
National-Democratic Party;
For United Georgia – led by former member of GDDG ruling party, MP Tamaz Mechiauri, who although quit GDDG in late May after criticizing government’s declared policy of NATO integration, according to him, maintains links with ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, who founded GDDG party;
People’s Government – one of the leaders of the party is Levan Mamaladze, who lives in Russia and who was an influential governor of Kvemo Kartli region during Eduard Shevardnadze’s presidency; he fled to Russia after the 2003 Rose Revolution;
For Georgia’s Peace – led by Davit Tevzadze, who was defense minister from 1998 to early 2004;
The Way of Zviad-In the Name of the Lord – led by Mikheil-Gela Saluashvili, who was running in 2013 presidential election in which he received 0.08% of votes;
European Democrats;
Conservative-Monarchist Party of Georgia;
Party of Georgia’s National Unity;
Communist Party of Georgia-Stalinists;
Socialist Party of Workers;
MerabKostava Society;
Georgian Idea;
Leftist Alliance – formed by former members of the Labor Party;
Our Georgia;
Future Georgia;
Kartuli Dasi (Georgian Assembly);
Christian-Conservatives - chaired by MP Shota Malashkhia;
Progressive-Democratic Movement;
Party of Women;

CEC refused in registration 18 parties – all, but three of them, on the grounds of failure to submit signatures of supporters. CEC de-registeredpro-Russian party, Centrists, on the grounds that it had no authorized leadership.

In Georgia’s mixed electoral system 77 seats in 150-member Parliament are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among the parties and election blocs, which clear 5% threshold in nationwide popular vote.

Rest of the 73 MPs are elected in 73 single-member districts, known as “majoritarian” mandates; a majoritarian MP candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner in the first round, otherwise a second round should be held no later than 25 days after the first round.

No need to use automatic weapons – Beka Beakuri, detained on terrorist charges

Beka Bekauri, who has been detained on terrorist charges, has provided authorities with details about the place where he had kept explosives and weapons.

It turns out he concealed explosive materials in a forest near the Zhinvali-Shatili road. Bekauri does not elaborate on why he needed the materials but says he went to the forest together with Jaba Melkadze in order to take the explosives.

“We planned to dig out the explosives and three automatic weapons I had buried earlier. I buried the weapons again once I saw them, but put the explosives in polyethylene bags and put them in the car belonging to Nuri Chkadua. Unlike Jaba Melkadze, Nuri Chkadua did not know what was in the bag. I simply asked him to follow me to the Aragvi gorge. In response to your question as to why I buried the weapons again, I would like to say that there was no need to use them,” Bekauri said.