The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party has officially presented its candidates for Tbilisi Mayor’s and City Council (Sakrebulo) Chair posts.
UNM party presents its Mayoral & City Council Chair candidates
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, June 27
The presentation was held in the yard of Tbilisi Metekhi Cathedral, in order to make it more symbolic.
As was expected, the Mayoral candidate of the UNM is Zaal Udumashvili, a former TV anchor of Rustavi 2 TV.
“I want to become the mayor of our city in order to make Tbilisi a city of happy people,” Udumashvili said.
The former journalist stressed that Tbilisi has never had so many problems and challenges over recent years.
“Our city needs changes. It needs motivated, hard-working and honest people. I have a goal and motivation to make lives of our citizens worthwhile, as they deserve,” he said.
Udumshvili also said that he will end nepotism and corruption in the Mayor’s Office.
“I will end the enrichment of officials on the expense of Tbilisi residents…I will not let appointment or dismissal of people on political grounds. People will be promoted only on the basis of competence,” he added.
Moreover, the former journalist highlighted that his aim is to defeat the total disorder and one man's ruling in the country, referring to tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is the ex-prime minister and founder of the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling party.
“I worked for 25 years as a journalist but I think that time has come for big changes and I want to contribute to fighting against the regime of Ivanishvili,” he stressed.
The UNM candidate for the Sakrebulo's Chairmanship will be Nika Melia, one of the leaders of the UNM.
“I made a decision to leave Parliament and fight to save this city and this country and to defeat the Georgian Dream rule from Tbilisi City Assembly,” he stated.
Melia added that he will fight against Bidzina Ivanishvili’s “oligarchic regime” from the City Assembly.
So far it is known that Udumashvili will be competing with current minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze. The opposition most probably will lose the competition for the mayor's position, because instead of consolidating around one candidate, they nominated as opponent of Udumashvili another opposition leader Elene Khoshtaria, while Georgia Dream is promoting one candidate.