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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 6
Saakashvili mocks Ivanishvili: ‘You are destined for defeat’

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvil has mocked his party's main opponent, former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, saying he is destined for defeat in the October 8 election.

Saakashvili, who is the Governor of Odessa in Ukraine, was appearing on Facebook Live for a Q&A with voters Monday night.

He said he will return to Georgia after the election and at the border there will be lines of people welcoming him, instead of him being arrested as the government has threatened.

“After October 8, we will say farewell to Bidzina Ivanishvili somewhere in a higher education facility at the government’s expense, where he will be taught the difference between Cambodia and Nicaragua, Pol Pot and Stalin,” he said, while answering questions during the live broadcast.

Ivanishvili needs education, the ex-president said.

“This person doesn’t even like educated people, and that’s his biggest problem,” he said.

Recently, Saakashvili has spoken more frequently about his possible return to Georgia. The response from the government is that he will be arrested as soon as he crosses the border.

Saakashvili remains charged of several criminal cases. The charges include abuse of official powers, embezzlement, involvement in a murder and ordering the dispersal of a peaceful rally on May 26, 2011. (DF watch)

Ivanishvili Expects Landslide GD Election Victory

Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said he expects the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party, which he founded more than four years ago, will win at least 48% of votes in party-list, proportional race and at least 60 majoritarian MP seats in the October 8 parliamentary elections.

“I think Georgian Dream will receive at least 48 percent and maximum 54 percent of votes and in the majoritarian race it will endorse minimum 60 and maximum 70 candidates,” Ivanishvili said on Monday, five days before the elections.

GDDG has majoritarian MP candidates in 72 out of 73 single-member election districts. Remaining 77 seats in the 150-member parliament are distributed proportionally among the parties, which clear 5% threshold in nationwide vote.

He said that there will be second round runoffs in many single-mandate districts, because there are many candidates and it will split the votes.

“So it will be difficult to garner over 50 percent of votes [required for an outright victory] in the first round,” Ivanishvili said.

He also said that the UNM opposition party “won’t be able to win in any of the majoritarian district…nor in Zugdidi” municipality, where Georgia’s former first lady Sandra Roelofs is running as UNM’s majoritarian MP candidate.

“It’s as clear as two and two makes four,” Ivanishvili said.

He also said that the Free Democrats opposition party, led by ex-defense minister Irakli Alasania, has a “chance” to show the second best result in the elections. “That would be good,” he added.

“It will be a multi-party parliament and I think five or six parties will have [representation],” Ivanishvili said.

“It won’t be a tragedy if [UNM] fails to clear [5%] threshold, but it would not be bad if UNM is represented in the Parliament by at least five members in order not to let people forget about them and about what they represent and on the other hand the Parliament should be multi-party, I always supported it. Georgian Dream is now a dominant party… it will have at least 90 and maximum 110 or possibly even more [in the next Parliament]… and the Georgian Dream will not require to enter into coalition [with other parties] in order to form a government,” Ivanishvili said. (

Elections 2016: About 7.5m ballot papers printed for Saturday’s vote

Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has started printing ballot papers for this Saturday’s Parliamentary Elections.

The voting papers are being printed in eight printing-houses in capital Tbilisi. The process is being monitored by CEC members and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

A total of 7,446,850 ballot papers will be printed for the October 8 elections.

Of these:

3,286,200 ballots will be printed for the proportional system; and

3,234,950 will be printed for majoritarian elections.

In Georgia's western Autonomous Republic of Adjara:

292,700 ballot papers will be printed for proportional elections; and

292,700 ballot papers will be printed for majoritarian elections.

Some ballot papers will be bilingual or trilingual and be printed in languages of Georgia’s ethnic minorities, including:


Azerbaijani-Georgian; and


Meanwhile, on October 8, municipal by elections to elect sakrebulo (local council) members will be held in Tbilisi, Tsalka, Tchiatura, Abasha and Zugdidi for which 123,500 ballot papers will be printed.

Also, special elections will be held to elect the Mayor of Akhaltsikhe in Georgia south. For this the CEC will prepare 13,950 ballot papers.

This Saturday gamgebeli (local governors) elections will be held in Bolnisi, Kharagauli, Chiatura, Zugdidi and Tsalenjikha municipalities, for which 123,500 papers will be printed.

All the ballot papers will be ready by tomorrow, October 6. (