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Ruling Party Candidate Leads in Municipal By-elections

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, April 30
Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) reports that according to the preliminary results, a candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party is winning, held in Georgia’s western Vani and Khoni municipalities, Samegrelo region.

The majoritarian seat in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency became vacant after Grigol Liluashvili, an MP from the GD party, was appointed as the deputy head of the State Security Service.

Six candidates were running the elections, held in 60 polling stations, and in total, 48,123 voters had been registered for the polls.

According to the early results from all 60 polling stations, the results look as follows: GD candidate Givi Chichinadze is leading with 57.86% (15,690 votes) followed by parliamentary minority European Georgia candidate - Gigi Ugulava 38.38% (10,404 votes). Giorgi Liluashvili, the candidate nominated by the Sakartvelo (Georgia) party, gained 0.46% of votes (124 votes), Zurab Kartvelishvili, the candidate of the Traditionalists, has 0.22% (59 votes), Mamuka Tuskadze, of the New Christian Democrats party, has 1.47% (399 votes), Vasil Kopaliani, the candidate nominated by an initiative group, gained 1.61% of votes (436 votes).

The CEC said that voter turnout at all 60 polling stations was 57.9%.

Central Election Commission Spokesperson Ana Mikeladze said all polling places were closed in accordance with the election legislation, adding no violations had been observed during the voting process.

Mikeladze noted that only five complains have been reported during the elections.

GD candidate Givi Chichinadze stated winning the elections was a great responsibility for him. He added that the elections were held in a peaceful environment with no serious excesses.

"The election process was peaceful. Everybody had the opportunity to properly hold the pre-election campaign," he added.

Archil Talakvadze, the leader of the GD parliamentary majority thanked the supporters of the Georgian Dream, saying no run-off would be necessary as their candidate received more than 50% of votes.

“The elections were held in a peaceful environment. Our candidate won the elections. Givi Chichinadze received more than 50% of votes…I want to thank our supporters. Now we are waiting for official results," said Talakvadze.

Gigi Ugulava, former Tbilisi Mayor and the European Georgia candidate, assures the GD used administrative resources during the elections.

“First of all, I want to thank the people who voted in the elections. Our party won in many villages but the GD had mobilized administrative resources, as always…despite the fact that Chichinadze won the elections, I will be by the side of the local population,” Ugulava stated.