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Early Results of Gamgebeli Races in Municipalities
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Jun.'14 / 16:29

Early results of races in 59 municipalities for the post of gamgebeli (head of municipality) suggest that second round runoffs are possible in 13 districts.

In rest of the 49 municipalities ruling GD coalition gamgebeli candidates seem to garnering more than half of the votes, needed for avoiding runoffs.

But while in some municipalities GD candidates have a strong lead, these early results also show that in some other municipalities GD gamgebeli candidates hover right around the 50% mark and figures may change as returns from all the precincts become available.

According to the early results as of Monday afternoon, there are thirteen municipalities where GD candidates are leading, but are failing to garner more than half of the votes, facing runoffs.

These municipalities are: Kvareli (GD – 47.91%; UNM – 24.15%); Telavi (GD – 49.88%; UNM– 26.88); Tianeti (GD - 47.37%; Burjanadze-led coalition’s candidate – 29.93%); Akhmeta (GD – 41%; a candidate from Burjanadze-led coalition – 27.97%); Terjola (GD - 46.81%; UNM - 36.96%); Khoni (GD – 46.87%; UNM 42.11%); Tkibuli (GD - 43.51%; Burjanadze’s coalition – 33.82%); Martvili (GD - 45%; Burjanadze-led coalition – 25.76%); Kobuleti (GD - 46.24%; UNM 23.16%); Bagdati (GD - 44.4%; a candidate from Georgia’s Way party – 37.59%); Gori (GD - 46.26%; candidate from Okruashvili’s Georgian Party - 26.88%); Lanchkhuti (GD - 44.38%; Alliance of Patriots of Georgia – 36.82%); Khulo (GD 49.85%; Alliance of Patriots of Georgia – 31.54%);
 
Although in Lagodekhi, Kazbegi, Mtskheta, Dusheti, Khashuri, Tskaltubo; Senaki; Zugdidi and Keda municipalities, GD gamgebeli candidates are leading the races, they have just slightly over 50% of votes and their outright victory has yet to be confirmed by returns from remaining precincts.
 
In Marneuli municipality, GD’s candidate leading the race with 52.48% of votes followed by UNM’s Akmamed Imamquliyev with 31.75%; data does not include vote tallies from seven precincts. Marneuli was in the center of attention days before the June 15 local elections after UNM’s gamgebeli candidate Imamquliyev was barred by the election administration to run in the race on the grounds of residency requirement; UNM, which condemned the decision as an attempt by the authorities to sideline a “frontrunner” in the race, challenged election commission’s decision in the court and the latter reinstated Imamquliyev as a candidate. It was then followed by GD’s announcement three days before the elections that it was withdrawing its gamgebeli candidate in Marneuli from the race, citing that the opponents were trying to use ethnic issues in the campaign in predominately ethnic Azerbaijani populated Marneuli municipality. GD’s candidate, however, continued campaigning and even if he wanted to withdraw his name would have still remained on the ballot papers as deadline for withdrawal of candidates had already been passed at the time when GD made its announcement. Now according to early results from Marneuli GD’s candidate, Merab Topchishvili, is leading the race.

According to early results, GD gamgebeli candidates have relatively stronger lead in the following municipalities: Sagarejo; Gurjaani; Signagi; Dedoplistskaro; Gardabani; Bolnisi; Dmanisi; Tetritskaro; Kaspi; Kareli; Aspindza; Borjomi; Akhaltsikhe; Adigeni; Akhalkalaki; Oni, Ninotsminda; Ambrolauri; Tsageri; Lentekhi; Mestia; Kharagauli; Sachkhere; Samtredia; Ozurgeti; Abasha; Chkhorotsku; Shuakhevi; Khobi; Khelvachauri; Tsalenjikha; Tsalka; Vani; Zestaponi; Chiatura and Chokhatauri.

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