On August 3, the European Georgia party, the largest opposition group in the Georgian Parliament, officially kicked off its election campaign for October parliamentary polls and named several majoritarian candidates for recently redrawn single-mandate constituencies:
- MP Zurab Chiaberashvili for Telavi, Akhmeta, Kvareli and Lagodekhi municipalities;
- Giorgi Ghviniashvili for Gurjaani, Sagarejo, Dedoplitskaro and Signagi municipalities;
- MP Irma Nadirashvili for Rustavi municipality and Norio, Martkopi, Akhalsopeli, Sartichala, Gamarjveba, Akhali Samgori, Lemshveniera, Teleti, Kumisi and Krtsanisi administrative units in Gardabani municipality;
- Ahmed Imamkuliev for Marneuli and Gardabani (excluding aforementioned adm. units) municipalities;
- Arsen Karapetyan for Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda municipalities;
- MP Otar Kakhidze for Kutaisi municipality;
- MP Sergo Ratiani for Sachkhere, Chiatura and Kharagauli municipalities;
- MP Gigi Tsereteli for Tkibuli, Terjola, Zestaponi and Bagdati municipalities;
- MP Akaki Bobokhidze for Samtredia, Tskaltubo, Vani and Khoni municipalities;
- Former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava for Zugdidi municipality;
- MP Giga Bokeria for Poti, Khobi and Senaki municipalities;
- MP Lela Keburia for Tsalenjikha, Chkhorotsku, Martvili and Abasha municipalities;
- MP Khatuna Gogorishvili for Ozurgeti, Lanchkhuti and Chokhatauri municipalities;
- Tariel Nakaidze for part of Khelvachauri, as well as Keda, Shuakhevi, and Khulo municipalities;
European Georgia’s Elene Khoshtaria and Shalva Shavgulidze, united opposition’s majoritarian candidates for Tbilisi’s Vake and Mtatsminda districts, respectively, also attended the event today.
Opening the event in downtown Tbilisi’s April 9 Park, MP Davit Bakradze, the former speaker, said welfare, safety, and integration with the West are the party’s key promises.
Speaking of welfare, Bakradze said they intend to reduce taxes, that in his words, means saving businesses and keeping jobs. He then hailed tax cuts as an effective tool to prevent price hike.
In this context, MP Bakradze maintained that the Government needs to double its efforts to take care of most vulnerable, including pensioners, socially vulnerable, disabled, and internally displaced persons.
He then vowed to “return Georgian property to the Georgian people,” noting that state properties, including “agricultural lands, pastures, arable lands, and forests should be transferred to Georgian people free of charge.”
The former speaker also suggested that “in every state enterprise, all Georgians should be allowed to register as shareholders and their profit should be directed towards [Georgians].”
“We will fail to achieve welfare if we are not safe and secure. Defeating crime and keeping our families safe, will be one of our priorities,” Bakradze continued.
He added that “we have learned a lot during those years [2003-2012 UNM rule], both through positive and negative experiences, [that] crime should be tackled through full respect towards the human rights.”
European Georgia did not present candidates for several single-mandate constituencies – Bolnisi, Dmanisi, Tetritskaro, Tsalka municipalities; Mtskheta, Dusheti, Tianeti, Kazbegi municipalities; Ambrolauri, Oni, Tsageri, Lentekhi, Mestia municipalities; Batumi municipality; Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi, Adigeni, Aspindza municipalities; Kaspi and Gori municipalities; Khashuri and part of Kareli municipality; Kobuleti. Bakradze noted that they will hold further negotiations with other opposition parties to come up with joint candidates in the said districts.
At the event, European Georgia also named MP Sergi Kapanadze, former Deputy Foreign Minister under ex-President Saakashvili, as the head of campaign headquarters. Former MP Nino Goguadze, Tbilisi Sakrebulo Deputy Giorgi Gabashvili, MP Giorgi Kandelaki and Irakli Kiknavelidze, among others, will be the members of European Georgia’s campaign HQ.
For the elections of the Supreme Council of Adjara Autonomous Republic, the party presented Vakhtang Kaloiani as Batumi majoritarian candidate, and Temur Kakhidze for Khelvachauri, Keda, Shuakhevi, and Khulo single-mandate constituency.
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