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Opposition UNM launches campaign to attract voters for run-offs

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, October 20
Georgia’s main opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), has called on voters to support the UNM and not the ruling Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party ahead of the second round of majoritarian elections on October 30.

The UNM believes voters “must not let the ruling party” win a constitutional majority, which equates to at least 100 seats in the 150 member parliament in the legislative body.

The UNM says if the GDDG wins a constitutional majority, there is a danger that the country may turn away from its democratic route, as the GDDG would be able to unanimously change the country’s main laws.

UNM member Giorgi Kandelaki stated that the UNM launched a campaign dubbed '+1', which addressed UNM supporters to take part in the second round of elections and convince at least one of their friends and relatives to vote for the UNM.

“We call on the voters to support our party in order not to let the ruling party win a constitutional majority in the country and cause a further devaluation of the national currency," Kandelaki stated.

He also spoke about the violations during the October 8 parliamentary elections and accused the GDDG of falsifying the election results.

Parliament Vice-Speaker and member of the ruling team Manana Kobakhidze rejected the allegations, saying the statements of the UNM are “speculations” before the run-offs.

Kobakhidze says that if the ruling party has a constitutional majority, the country will not be in danger, and dismissed the UNM's comments as being aimed at misleading and confusing the voters.

“The UNM is trying to cause turmoil before the second round of elections in order to mislead the voters,” Kobakhidze stressed.

Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) announced that the second round of parliamentary elections would be held on October 30 in 50 single-mandate constituencies, 18 of which are located in Tbilisi.

Voting will be re-run at polling stations in Marneuli, south of Tbilisi, and in precincts of Zugdidi in western Georgia on October 22, as the initial election results in each were annulled by the CEC after violent clashes disrupted the polling stations.

Georgian Dream and United National Movement candidates are expected to face each other in 44 majoritarian constituencies out of a total 50.