Georgian Dream leaders have gathered outside party headquarters on Erekle II square in downtown Tbilisi, marking what they called “great victory,” minutes after Imedi TV/GORBI exit poll gave incumbent Kakha Kaladze first round victory in Tbilisi Mayoral race with 51.3%. GD received 47.6% nationwide, according to the poll, that has its margin of error at plus, minus 3%.
“I once again congratulate you and every member of the Georgian Dream on a great victory,” Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili addressed supporters, while also telling opponents that “today, we have put an end to polarization in the country. Today we have ended the era of hate and lies.”
The Prime Minister asserted that an era of peace, development and stability should begin tomorrow
MP Irakli Kobakhidze, the ruling party chair congratulated supporters and newly elected officials on their win. “10 years ago, when Bidzina Ivanishvili founded the Georgian Dream, nobody believed in the first victory. But since then, we claimed eight consecutive victories, but great victories are still ahead,” MP Kobakhidze said.
On his part, Tbilisi Mayoral candidate Kakha Kaladze thanked Tbilisites for their “trust,” noting his readiness to serve the capital city “24/7.”
Stressing that peace and stability are of utmost importance for the country, the incumbent Mayor said “today’s success” will allow the ruling party to focus on ensuring “rapid economic development” for the next three years, in the run up to parliamentary elections slated for 2024.
The Central Election Commission has yet to release preliminary results, while exit polls show conflicting results. Unlike exit poll commissioned by pro-government Imedi TV, polls by government-critical Formula TV and Mtavari Arkhi channels show Kaladze and Nika Melia of the United National Movement heading into runoffs.