Ruling Party Candidate Wins Rustavi MP By-Elections
Irakli Shatakishvili of the ruling Georgian Dream party has obtained victory in April 2 MP by-elections in the southern constituency of Rustavi city and several nearby Gardabani villages, according to the Central Election Commission.
According to the vote tallies from all 121 polling stations, Shatakishvili garnered 90.61% (34,333 votes).
His largely unknown opponents, Mamuka Tuskadze of the For Social Justice party received 6.952% (2,634 votes), Kamal Muradkhanov of The Party for Georgian Unity and Development ended third with 2.436% (923 votes).
Shatakishvili has previously held managerial positions in the private sector, including at the Rich Metals Group, a Netherlands-registered company that mines metals in Georgia’s southern municipalities of Bolnisi, Dmanisi, and Tetritskaro in the Kvemo Kartli region.
The ruling party candidate secured an easy victory as major opposition parties did not put forward their candidates to vie for the parliamentary seat.
Former Lelo MP Badri Japaridze, who was expelled by the GD-led parliament over a guilty ruling and nominated himself as a Rustavi majoritarian candidate, withdrew from the competition citing the war in Ukraine as a reason.
40,559 voters cast ballots in the election, accounting for 29% of the total number of voters.
The parliamentary seat in Rustavi constituency became vacant after Nino Latsabidze, a majoritarian MP, was elected as the Mayor of Rustavi in October 2021 local elections.
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