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Parliament Speaker Says Opposition is trying to Discredit Election Process

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 26
Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhizde has accused the United National Movement opposition party of staging provocations and making black PR campaign against an independent presidential candidate Salome Zourabichvili, who is supported by the ruling party for the October 28 presidential race.

Kobakhidze stated at a special briefing on late Monday that the UNM, which ran Georgia between 2003 and 2012, is doing its utmost to discredit the election process.

“However, they will never achieve the goal,” he said.

He also accused the opposition party of faking the list of supporters and said that it is the party which “handed” Georgian regions to Russians in 2008.

The opposition is making counter-accusations and says that the ruling party is being involved in using the administrative resources for the elections and is engaged with the offending of its opponents.

They also state that the party and the presidential candidate who say that Georgia handed lands to Russia during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war are damaging state interests.

Zourabichvili, Georgia’s former Foreign Minister, says that despite being warned by foreign allies, Saakashvili was provoked by Russia in 2008 which led to the war, resulting in the occupation of Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

Twenty-five candidates have been registered by the Georgian Central Election Commission for the elections.

The opposition failed to merge forces in the race, only ten opposition parties were able to nominate a joint candidate, former FM Grigol Vashadze.

It will be the last presidential elections when people elect the president. All following presidents will be elected by delegates from Tbilisi and regions.