Georgia’s ruling party scores landslide victory in local government election
Georgia’s ruling party Georgian Dream effectively swept the local government election on 21 October, winning the largest vote share in almost every self-government unit or municipality in the country:
Georgian Dream – 52%,
United National Movement (UNM) – 17%,
European Georgia – 9%,
Patriots Alliance – 5%.
The greatest intrigue of the race had been about who would become the new mayor of the capital city, Tbilisi, as many observers predicted that a runoff was inevitable. However, the first round of voting was all it took Georgian Dream’s candidate, Kakhi Kaladze, to win the post. He secured 51.6% of all votes, by far outstripping each of his rivals – Aleko Elisashvili, an independent candidate (17.4%), Zaliko Udumashvili, the UNM candidate (16.5%), and Elene Khostaria of the European Georgia Party (7%). Vote-counting still continues in five of Tbilisi’s constituencies, however whatever the results they are not going to dramatically affect the ultimate vote distribution picture. Less than half of Georgia’s eligible voters – 45.6% – turned out to vote in the election.
The Georgian capital residents vote to elect a new mayor every three years as part of the countrywide local government elections. In order to win the post in the first voting round, a candidate must obtain more than 50% of all votes. In case none of the candidates passes the threshold, a second voting round is held two weeks after the first one.
Georgia has registered 3 500 000 eligible voters. About a million of them live in Tbilisi.