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GD mayoral candidate refuses to participate in debates with his competitor

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, October 5
Kakha Kaladze, the Tbilisi Mayoral candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, has rejected the challenge of an independent mayoral candidate, Aleksandre Elisashvili, to take part in debates.

Kaladze says that Elisashvili’s offer is populist, adding that he is not going to accept it.

“This is a purely populist statement from his side. I do not understand why I should have debates with him,” he stated.

The GD candidate added that the country’s TV stations have special formats for debates and he will take part in them.

“I have never avoided any debates organized by the televisions but I am not going to meet and debate with Elisashvili,” he added.

Elisashvili offered Kaladze to have a debate on October 3. He said he received many offers from the TV stations to take part in debates with GD candidate, but Kaladze did not show up.

“I want to address Kaladze without any mediators to have debates with me. I am ready to meet him in any format and at any TV station,” Elisashvili stated.

Elisashvili was 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 acts of deforestation.

In the October local elections, Elisashvili will have six rivals in the form of Kakha Kaladze; the United National Movement’s candidate, Zaal Udumashvili; European Georgia’s Elene Khoshtaria; the Movement for Building’s Tengiz Shergilashvili; the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia’s nominee Irma Inashvili; and the Democratic movement and Free Georgia’s candidate, Kakha Kukava.

The elections will be held on October 21.