Mayoral races in at least eight out of twelve cities are set to go into second round runoff, according to early results of the June 15 municipal elections.
Georgian Dream (GD) ruling coalition candidates lead in Tbilisi, Telavi, Rustavi, Mtskheta, Gori, Ozurgeti, Poti and Batumi mayoral races, but fail to secure more than half of the votes cast in the June 15 elections, facing the second round of vote.
GD candidates are set to win an outright victory in the first round in Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Akhaltsikhe and Ambrolauri, according to early results. But in Kutaisi, where early results are based on vote tallies from 116 precincts out of total 125, GD’s Shota Murgulia has 51.11% and it has yet to be seen if this result stands after returns from all the remaining precincts.
In 4 out of 8 cities, where runoffs are likely, UNM mayoral candidates will face GD candidates, and in 4 other cities candidates, nominated by some other parties, are likely to make it in the second round, according to early official results.
Early results in Tbilisi show GD’s Davit Narmania in lead with 46.35% of votes, facing runoff in the second round against opposition UNM candidate Nika Melia, who has 27.58%.
Dimitri Lortkipanidze, a candidate nominated by Nino Burjanadze-led coalition of several non-parliamentary opposition parties trails behind with 12.86%, followed by Irma Inashvili, nominated by Alliance of Patriots of Georgia with 5.38%; Labor Party’s candidate Asmat Tkabladze – 2.48%; Kakha Kukava, nominated by election bloc of New Rights and Free Georgia parties – 2.36%; MP Giorgi Gachechiladze, leader of Georgian Green Party – 1.16%.
Other seven candidates have less than 1% each, according to these early results.
Early results for Tbilisi City Council, Sakrebulo, party-list proportional contest show GD in lead with 46.07%, followed by UNM – 26.24%.
Two other parties, which have managed to clear 4% threshold needed for taking party-list seats in the Tbilisi Sakrebulo, are: Nino Burjanadze’s United Opposition, which has 10.34% and Alliance of Patriots of Georgia with slightly over 6.14% of votes.
These early results of party-list contest are based on votes counted in 532 precincts out of Tbilisi’s total of 729 polling stations.
Half of the seats in 50-member Tbilisi Sakrebulo are distributed through party-list, proportional contest and remaining 25 seats (majoritarian) are distributed among the candidates, which win the race in the capital city’s 25 single-mandate constituencies.
In Georgia’s second largest city, Kutaisi, where GD’s Shota Murgulia leads the mayoral race with 51.11%, followed by UNM’s Giorgi Tevdoradze, a member of parliament, with 25.91%.
Temur Shashiashvili, a formerly Kutaisi mayor and governor of Imereti region under ex-president Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration, who was nominated in these elections by Nino Burjanadze’s coalition, has 13.38% of votes.
These early results as of Monday afternoon are based on vote tallies from 116 precincts out of total 125.
In Black Sea resort city of Batumi, GD’s Giorgi Ermakov has 45% of votes, followed by UNM’s Giorgi Diasamidze with 17.66%.
A candidate from Georgia’s Way Gocha Gugunava has 7.92%; candidate from Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, Teimuraz Mikeladze – 7.61%; Murman Beridze from Burjanadze’s coalition slightly over 6%.
There will be a runoff between GD’s Davit Jikia, who has 38.56%, and UNM’s Mamuka Chikovani, who has 29.3%, in Rustavi, city in Kvemo Kartli region, according to early results based on vote tallies from 24 out of total 86 precincts.
Erosi Kitsmarishvili is third in the race with 12.71%. Kitsmarishvili, a former co-owner of Rustavi 2 TV and Georgia’s ex-ambassador to Russia, was actively involved in politics in few years ago, but kept low profile before re-emerging as a mayoral candidate in Rustavi ahead of the June 15 municipal elections.
In Telavi, the main town of Kakheti region in eastern Georgia, GD’s Platon Kalmakhelidze leads the race with 42.44% of votes.
He will face UNM’s Alexi Dzuliashvili, who has 21.7%, in the second round runoff.
Gori is one of those four cities, where UNM candidates are failing to make it to second round runoffs, according to early official results.
In Gori, the main town in Shida Kartli region, GD’s Zurab Jirkvelishvili leads with 40.78% of votes.
He is likely to face in the second round Kakhaber Ergemlidze (29.19%), a mayoral candidate nominated by ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili’s party.
Okruashvili himself wanted to run for Gori mayor’s office, but had to name his ally after he was barred from participation on the grounds of residency requirement.
UNM’s Gori mayoral candidate, Archil Sabiashvili, is third in the race with 14.52% of votes.
In the main town of Samegrelo region, Zugdidi, GD’s mayoral candidate Irakli Gogokhia is set for an outright victory with 58.33%.
UNM’s Teimuraz Basilaia has 33.16% of votes in Zugdidi.
There was a tight mayoral race in the small town of Mtskheta close to Tbilisi.
GD’s Avtandil Nemsitsveridze leads with 33.64% of votes, followed by Davit Machkhaneli, a candidate nominated by the Green Party of Georgia, with 25.5% – the two are set for second round runoff if these early results stand.
A candidate from Burjanadze’s coalition, Ilia Rukhadze, is third with 23.87%.
In the port town of Poti in Samegrelo region, GD’s mayoral candidate, Irakli Kakulia, leads with 45.66%.
There is a tight race for second place in Poti between Ushangi Gegenava of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, who has 20.85%, and UNM’s Vakhtang Dartsmelidze, who has 19.36%.
These early results in Poti are based on vote tallies from 28 out of 32 precincts.
Runoff race is expected in Ozurgeti, town in Guria region, between GD’s Beglar Sioridze, who has 35.15%, and Shota Gogiberidze from Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, who has 21.41%.
Ivane Tabatadze, a candidate nominated by Georgia’s Way, is third with up to 17%.
GD’s Giorgi Kopadze is leading in the mayoral race in Akhaltsikhe, main town in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, with 60.44% of votes.
UNM’s Gela Demetradze follows with 31.03%.
GD’s Rati Namgaladze is winning a landslide victory in Ambrolauri mayoral race in this small town in mountainous Racha-Lechkhumi region with 82.22%. UNM’s candidate, Amiran Lomtadze, has 17.78%