Home / News / GDDG Not to Field a Candidate for Presidential Polls, Parliament Speaker Says
Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze announces the ruling party decision, August 6, 2018. Photo: screengrab from TV Pirveli

GDDG Not to Field a Candidate for Presidential Polls, Parliament Speaker Says

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia will not field a candidate for presidential polls, and may instead endorse the candidacy of an independent nominee, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze announced at a special press briefing today.

“Although we have a lot of candidates, who could obtain convincing victories in the first round of presidential elections, the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia has decided not to nominate its candidate for the presidential elections,” Kobakhidze stressed.

The Parliament Speaker then noted that the party would “undoubtedly have a clear position on the presidential polls: we might openly endorse an independent candidate or might not endorse any candidates at all if it becomes clear that a [genuinely] non-partisan and independent candidate can win the race without our active involvement.”

Kobakhidze added that concrete decision over the issue would be made later, “once a full spectrum of candidates becomes known.”

Reasoning the decision, Kobakhidze said a partisan president “would have difficulties in maintaining political neutrality and in adequately fulfilling its constitutional duties,” considering the president’s status under the country’s new constitution.

“Electing a partisan presidential candidate from GDDG will be even more undesirable considering its solid majority in the Parliament and the self-governing bodies, and the strong instruments of policy-making and implementation that it holds,” Kobakhidze explained.

“Beginning from 2012, GDDG has been introducing high standards of democracy and we believe that our decision will contribute to establishing the right traditions of presidency, which is essential for developing an effective parliamentary system in Georgia,” he added.

Irakli Kobakhidze’s press briefing in the GDDG headquarters came an hour after Salome Zurabishvili, a French-born career diplomat and a member of the Parliament of Georgia, announced that she would run for the presidential elections as an independent candidate.

Zurabishvili, who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2004-2005, is outside GDDG’s 116-member majority group and maintains the status of an independent lawmaker, but her voting record and public statements have been closely aligned with that of the ruling party MPs.

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