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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, December 18
Parties publish radically different poll results

Rezonansi reports that the Government and opposition are publishing entirely different public opinion poll results. The Alliance for Georgia is stating that its leader Irakli Alasania would gain 61 percent of the vote if the Mayor’s election was held today. The Government however, citing an International Republican Institute (IRI) poll, states that Gigi Ugulava, the most likely Government candidate for Mayor, would gain 35 percent of the vote and Irakli Alasania only 13 percent. 23 percent of Tbilisi residents are undecided in this poll.

According to the Alliance Irakli Alasania is the most serious opposition candidate and their polls show that Gigi Ugulava enjoys the support of just one third of Tbilisi citizens. Unemployment, instability and lock of social protection for the vulnerable are the issues most important for voters, according to the Alliance's polling. However the IRI’s contemporaneous poll, broadcast on Imedi TV, states that Gigi Ugulava has three times the support of any other candidate.

Kakha Kukava: We appeal to the Alliance to take part in the primary

In an interview with Kvela Siakhle Joint Leader of the Conservative Party Kakha Kukava has stated: "We appeal to the Alliance to take part in the primary and unite behind the strongest opposition candidate Zviad Dzidziguri. I advise the leaders of the Alliance and former Ministers to forego their personal ambitious, and it is clear that I am talking about Alliance candidates.

"It is amazing: if they really believe that Irakli Alasania’s rating is so much higher than that of other opposition leaders, and holding the primary does not therefore matter, why don't they take part? I remind them of the last Parliamentary election, when my rating in Gldani was the highest and I suggested holding a primary to select a candidate but all the other parties refused to take part. Ultimately the National Movement took advantage of this disunity. Today the situation is the same: if the opposition do not nominate one candidate we will be defeated," stated Kakha Kukava.

To the question, "You said in one of your interviews that you do not like Alasania’s circle. Did you mean the Republicans?" Kukava answered, "No, I meant the whole Alliance, because I think that at the elections Ugulava should be opposed by a cross-party candidate, not the leader of one particular party. The Republicans and New Rights are not very powerful, and you must also take into account that the non-Parliamentary opposition contains another 7 or 8 political forces. We are waiting for an alternative, reasoned suggestion from the Alliance.”

Goga Khaindrava, from Defend Georgia, another opposition party, has stated in response: “I do not see the necessity of holding a primary. One part of the opposition does not think that Saakashvili will hold free elections and is refusing to participate in them. I also think this. A few parties think that in spite of this elections are the only means of conducting a political battle. However I respect their position and think that parties who support a boycott should still join their struggle. I know Irakli Alasania very well and think that he is the future of Georgian politics.”