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By-elections come to an end: few problems reported

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, May 1
On April 27th, Georgia's by-elections were held in the three majoritarian (directly-elected) districts of Nadzaladevi (Tbilisi), Samtredia and Baghdati. Former MPs of these districts had been promoted to high-ranking governing positions and this is why these by-elections were necessary.

Almost nobody had doubted that the representatives of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition would win. This is how it has really happened. However, some issues have been speculated on by the media, various politicians and analysts.

The first issue was how the elections were held. Unfortunately, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and emergence of the new independent states, Georgia as well as many other post-Soviet countries has gone through periods of manipulations during the elections process, abuse of administrative resources, the creation of an unequal environment for different political entities, access to finances, and other irregularities.

Although, the Georgian Dream coalition was criticizing the Election Code before the October 1 Parliamentary elections, saying that it was not fair and objective, it has not been trying to introduce any amendments in this code so far. As some observers mention, the Georgian Dream was also using administrative resources at a certain level.

However, it should also be mentioned that no major violations have been detected, which had a negative effect on the situation during Election Day.

Leader of the Georgian Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili expressed his content with the results of the elections, predicting that in the forthcoming presidential elections, a larger difference will be between the participating candidates so that the United National Movement (UNM) candidate will not even manage to collect 10% of votes. The UNM is also expressing its satisfaction with the results of the by-elections and believe that the ruling team has lost popular support.

However, these votes did not go to the UNM, but rather to different candidates. This tendency should be welcomed.

Meanwhile, the leader of the oppositional UNM, President Mikheil Saakashvili, tries to maintain high spirits by cheering his supporters and mentioning that the UNM has been knocked down, but it still has a chance to recover.

Most analysts think that this is only rhetoric and an attempt to recover a lost game, but the UNM eventually may have no chance to return. The April 19 rally and the amount of people showed that the UNM has lost forever. However, there are two visible tendencies: one is the fact that an urgent need has appeared for an alternative oppositional force, while the second is the fact that the Georgian Dream should continue being active attempting not to use the popular support.