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Elisashvili mayoral candidate

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, July 13
Aleko Elisashvili, an independent member of Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo), has officially presented himself as a candidate for the Tbilisi mayoral elections, to be held this autumn.

During a presentation at Gudiashvili Square, Elisashvili promised his supporters that he will take care of Tbilisi and its residents.

“I am an independent candidate but all my life I will be dependent on the people and sensitive to their needs…we deserve a better city, where we will live happily,” he said.

He promised voters that in case of victory he will still use public transport as an ordinary citizen.

“I am an ordinary person…what can I give you? I cannot promise you golden mountains. But I won’t give up my lifestyle. I will use public transport as I used to and I will be available for everyone from morning till night,” Elisashvili addressed his supporters.

The Sakrebulo member said that although he was an independent mayoral candidate, he would compose a team of qualified urbanists, architects, constructors, road engineers and transport specialists.

“These people are my team and in case of my victory I will rule and develop our capital with these people,” he stated.

He also questioned the funding of electoral parties and noted that a business-sponsored political party cannot be independent.

“The support of business helps candidates in the pre-election period but it gives them many other responsibilities like destroying parks, squares, stadiums, giving construction permits of ugly buildings etc. because you owe them a favor back…I am independent from such big businesses,” Elisashvili stressed.

Aleko Elisashvili is one of the most active members of the Tbilisi City Council. He has been actively involved in the capital’s life and often criticizes the Tbilisi leadership for alleged corrupt deals, construction permits and illegal tree-cutting.

In the October local elections, Elisashvili will officially have three main rivals: the ruling Georgian Dream party’s candidate Kakha Kaladze, the opposition United National Movement’s Zaal Udumashvili, Elene Khoshtaria from the parliamentary minority European Georgia, and perhaps a candidate from the non-parliamentary opposition party New Georgia, likely its leader Giorgi Vashadze.