The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, August 6
Elections 2018: Key Dates and Procedures

On October 28, Georgian citizens will head to polls to elect their fifth president for a six-year term. This is the last time when the head of state is elected through a direct ballot.

The Central Election Commission published the schedule of electoral activities on August 1, after incumbent President Giorgi Margvelashvili announced the election date.

Below are the key election dates and procedures set by the Election Code and approved by the Central Election Commission (CEC).

August 1 – The election date is officially set;

August 6 – CEC releases information on the number of voters and their breakdown by election districts; All stakeholders, including political parties, election observer organizations, and individual voters, are given time until October 10 to verify the voters’ list and file for corrections. From October 13 to October 16, changes to the voters’ list can only be made through court ruling;

August 29 – The electoral campaign period officially kicks off with a whole set of legal obligations, among them restrictions on the use of administrative resources;

September 8 – Deadline for parties/initiative groups to apply to CEC for candidate registration;

September 18 – Deadline for parties/initiative groups to submit the list of supporters (no less than 25,923) for candidate registration;

September 28 – CEC completes registration of presidential candidates;

October 4 – CEC publishes the list of presidential candidates including their details (name, surname, date of birth, position, occupation, address);

October 18 – Deadline for local observer organizations to apply to CEC for registration;

October 21 – Deadline for international observer organizations to apply to CEC for registration;

October 23 – Deadline for CEC to release final data on total number of voters, following voters’ list corrections;

October 28 – Election Day. Polling stations open at 8am and close at 8pm. Vote tabulation immediately follows the voting process;

November 8 – Deadline for district election commissions to summarize the results of presidential polls; final vote tallies should be submitted to CEC no later than the following day.

If no presidential candidate garners more than 50% of votes in the first round, the elections will go into run-off, which will be held no later than December 1.

July 2018: Georgia hosts over 1 million international travellers

Over one million international travellers (1,039,027) visited Georgia in July 2018 of which 564,977 were tourists, says the Georgian National Tourism Administration.

Year-on-year, the number of international travellers (tourists, transit, other) increased by 10.5 percent, while the number of tourists (individuals that spend more than 24 hours in the country) increased by 15 percent.

The countries from where the largest number of visitors came to Georgia in July 2018 were:
Russia (+13.8%)
Azerbaijan (+9.8%)
Turkey (+20.5%)
Armenia (-4.2%)
From European Union countries:
Romania (+260%)
Estonia (+83%)
Germany (59%)
The Czech Republic (+56%)
The Netherlands (+55%)

The countries with the most significant increase were:
China (+115%)
Korea (+83%)
Belarus (+55%)
United States (+54%)
Saudi Arabia (+44%)

In the first seven months of 2018, Georgia hosted 4,600,988 international visitors (12.9 percent increase) and 2,498,751tourists (21 percent increase).

How did Georgia benefit from more visitors?

A total of $1.66 billion was generated from international tourism in Georgia in January-June 2018, which was $305 million more compared to the same period of 2017.

In the first quarter of 2018 international tourism revenue reached $551 million.

Meanwhile, in 2017 international tourism revenue reached $2.7billion, which was 594 million more compared to 2016.

In 2017 the share of tourism in the gross domestic product was 6.9percent - a 13 percent year-on-year increase.