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Independent Member runs for Tbilisi Mayorís post

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 7
Aleko Elisashvili, who is an independent member of Tbilisi City Council, has announced he will run for the post of Tbilisi Mayor.

Elisashvili is one of the most energetic members of the Tbilisi City Council, and is actively involved in the capitalís life and often criticizes the city's leadership.

Elisashvili stated he would make more announcements about his decision in the coming days, but stated that he saw his main opponent as Kakha Kaladze, the candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

Before making the statement, Elisashvili said on TV that he was stopped and asked by residents of Tbilisi to participate in the race.

There were also talks that the non-parliamentary Republicans and the Free Democrat parties wanted Elisashvili to be their candidate for the election, which is scheduled for the end of October.

The country's two main opposition parties, European Georgia and the United National Movement, have already named their candidates for the role.

Elene Khoshtaria, an expert in politics and a lawmaker, was named by the European Georgia faction, a party which was created after the 2016 Parliamentary elections through the splitting of the United National Movement.

The UNM, which ran Georgia between 2003 and 2012 and is still affiliated with ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, named famous TV anchor Zaal Udumashvili as their own candidate.

Incumbent Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania represents the Georgian Dream party.

He was named by billionaire ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for the post in 2013.

The opposition frequently says that Narmania does what is being ordered by Ivanishvili.

Taking the views of social network users in the account, Narmania seems to be unpopular with Tbilisi residents.

Kaladze, who is a retired footballer of the Milan and Dynamo Kiev teams and now the former Energy Minister, will represent the ruling team in the race.

Ivanishvili refrained from involving in his election campaigning.

The Tbilisi Mayorís election will prove to be very interesting this year, especially because of Elisashvili, as he is quite popular amongst voters.

Tbilisi is different from other areas, as there were often cases when the opposition candidates, and not those named by the ruling team, gained the support of voters of the capital city.

Also, Tbilisi has never had a mayor who was not affiliated with any political group.