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Georgian PM: Ruling Party Should Not Participate in Presidential Race

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, July 27
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated on July 26 that it will be better for Georgian democracy if the ruling party Georgian Dream (GD) does not have its own presidential candidate in the October elections.

“The task of any political force is to take part in any elections, to invest the maximum resources to get a good result. I assure you that we have a number of candidates who can get good results in the elections but I think it will be better if GD does not take part in the presidential race,” Bakhtadze stated.

Bakhtadze explained that the GD has constitutional majority in the parliament, also as a result of local elections, the Georgian Dream has a significant advantage in all local self-governments.

The PM believes that in such circumstances, it will be good if GD gives more opportunities to the opposition parties.

“The Georgian Dream's philosophy is that we should create a true European parliamentary democracy and parliamentary republic…It will be better for our democracy if GD does not pick its candidate,” he added.

According to Bakhtadze, there are intense consultations underway within the ruling team over the issue.

“When we reach a certain agreement, we will inform the society about our decision,” he noted.

Bakhtadze also said that he fully shares the position of the GD founder and Chair, ex-PM, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who stated earlier that GD should support an independent candidate in the elections.

“I am against nominating a presidential candidate from the Georgian Dream party. If a worthy candidate does not emerge, let the opposition candidate become the president,” Ivanishvili stated in his interview with the Public Broadcaster a few days ago.

European Georgia Presidential Candidate, David Bakradze says the ruling party decision to support an independent candidate is a trick, as if they are not taking part in the elections.

“If the GD presents their candidate, it will be very hard for them to win the elections. This is why they have a new approach – as if they are offering an independent and neutral candidate to the society,” he stated.

Shalva Natelashvili, a presidential candidate of the Labor Party says that Ivanishvili wants to reduce the negative attitude of the society towards the GD by offering an independent candidate.

He thinks that in real, this person will be managed and directed by the ruling party.

Founder of Georgian Strategic Analysis Center, Nodar Kharshiladze says the new experiment of Ivanishvili might not succeed adding the opposition has good candidates.

“I would say that united opposition’s candidate, Grigol Vashadze is one of the strongest, so I think it is not a good idea if the GD supports an independent candidate,” the expert explained.