Following a meeting at the Labor Party office on August 18, the opposition parties, all signatories to the March 8 Deal on election reform, named joint candidates to run in two remaining single-mandate constituencies in the capital city of Tbilisi for the upcoming October parliamentary elections.
The opposition parties will support Zurab Japaridze, the leader of right-libertarian Girchi party, in Didube-Chugureti majoritarian district, and recently pardoned former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, leader of Victorious Georgia party, in Saburtalo district.
The major opposition groups named six joint candidates for the capital city earlier:
- Shalva Shavgulidze of Free Democrats in Mtatsminda-Krtsanisi;
- Elene Khoshtaria of European Georgia in Vake district;
- Nika Melia of the United National Movement (UNM) in Gldani;
- Giorgi Vashadze of New Georgia in Isani;
- Levan Khabeishvili of UNM in Samgori;
- Shalva Natelashvili of Labor Party in Nadzaladevi.
Statements by opposition leaders
UNM’s Nika Melia told journalists following the meeting that his party will openly support Japaridze’s candidacy in Didube-Chugureti district and “help him defeat Georgian Dream’s candidate” Gia Volski.
As for Saburtalo constituency, Melia said since “a number of worthy candidates” have been nominated in the district, UNM will not name its candidate there.
MP Giga Bokeria of European Georgia noted that joint opposition candidates “have high chances” to defeat ruling party candidates in the first round.
Shalva Natelashvili, the Labor leader, said “the [Ivanishvili] regime will lose in the capital city of Tbilisi on October 31.”