Georgia to rehears parliamentary elections

 Georgia to rehears parliamentary elections

On October 21, elections to local self-government bodies will be held in Georgia. Residents of the country will choose mayors of 5 cities (Tbilisi, Poti, Rustavi, Batumi, Kutaisi) and 59 districts, as well as deputies of 64 sakrebulos (municipal legislatures). Georgia's CEC officially registered 22 parties and five blocs for participation in the elections. The Georgian experts told Vestnik Kavkaza about the general mood in Georgia before the elections, and whether it is worth waiting for any surprises.

A member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ Vakhtang Maisaya recalled that the representatives of the ruling party were attacked on Thursday evening in Georgia’s Marneuli district. "I think it will be the only such negative incident on the eve of the elections, and they will  be held in a calm atmosphere," the political scientist said.

He also stressed that tomorrow's elections are unlikely to cause serious interest on the part of the Georgian population. "This will be a kind of preparatory stage for more important elections, for example, next year in Georgia presidential elections will be held, and in three years - parliamentary elections," the expert said.

At the same time he expressed doubt that the Georgian municipal elections would change anything in the political life of Georgia. "In general, the situation will be unchanged, but in some cases there may be surprises, especially in Tbilisi with former Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze. He has many influential rivals, primarily independent candidate Aleko Elisashvili, " the member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ concluded.

A Political scientist and the president of the Club of Independent Experts, Josef Tsiskarishvili, said that the current elections will be very interesting and even unpredictable for citizens.

"A lot of observers arrived for the current elections. The pre-election campaign was active, so even our citizens, who were not interested earlier, have started to pay more attention to the elections," the political scientist said.

The expert recalled that the local elections in 2014 were accompanied by serious pressure from the Georgian Dream, which was not very experienced back then. "Now the Prime Minister says practically same things, but it is already clear that it will not be so easy for them to achieve almost a hundred percent result," Tsiskarishvili warned.

"First of all, there are a lot of complaints about the current authorities now. But in any case, journalism and the election system have already matured in Georgia. Both sides have arguments to convince the voters of their rightness," the president of the Club of Independent Experts assured.

Political analyst Giorgi Nodiya, in turn. said that the only intrigue concerns the election of Tbilisi mayor, where the second round is quite possible. "The majority believes that the candidate of the ruling party, Kakha Kaladze, has an advantage, but that does not mean that he will win in the first round," the expert explained.

In his opinion, the turnout will not be high. "On the one hand, people are not very inspired by the Georgian Dream. On the other hand, they are not so angry at the government to come and vote against it," the political scientist said.

Accordingly, the election is unlikely to change the situation in the country, the expert believes. "The only option is if Kaladze loses the elections in the second round," Nodia concluded.