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Fighting for votes

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, September 24
A little over a month is left before the presidential election and the candidates are doing their best to gain as many supporters as possible. There are presidential candidates who are familiar to the public, and there are others who have just emerged and managed to attract public interest through promising that they would be able to be the strongest opponents. Some of the candidates are mainly focused on social issues. Others have certain directions or complex visions for Georgian advancement.

Presidential candidate of the Georgian Dream coalition, Giorgi Margvelashvili, believes that development and assistance of all the state fields is crucial for the country's development. During his speeches, he tries to focus more attention on people and their demands rather than making statements against his opponents. However, it is sometimes hard for him to refrain from criticizing former officials.

Margvelashvili states that “Euro-Atlantic integration and the deepening of relations with Georgia’s partners in the West and with the U.S.” are the priorities for him. He stresses that Georgian de-occupation is very significant. Margvelashvili emphasizes that “Georgia should become a member of Europe politically. He stresses that the restoration of trade –economic relations with Russia in the frames of the World Trade Organization is also important.

Candidate of the United National Movement (UNM) Davit Bakradze stresses that he has always acted as a linking force inside the country. He highlights that in the case that he wins he is ready to fight to unite the political players inside the country. However, until achieving this goal, he appeals to Georgians to detect those threats Georgia might face in case Margvelashvili wins the elections. He openly criticizes the course of the government, stating that Euro-Atlantic integration does not fit in the coalition’s intentions.

The three directions Bakradze highlights are: protection of the country sovereignty, welfare of public and advancement of Georgia's democratic path. Bakradze stresses that the new government of Georgia lacks political experience and knowledge.

The three other presidential candidates represent different visions concerning the country’s development. However, they have one in common. Nino Burjanadze, Giorgi Targamadze and Shalva Natelashvili have grown their claims recently regarding presumable collaboration between the candidates of the GD and the UNM.

The main messages delivered by leader of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, are linked with restoration of justice and deepening relations with Russia.

She stresses that “without regulation of problems with Russia, Georgia will not stand on its feet.” Burjanadze states that only a stable country can produce jobs and settle the greatest problem for Georgia –unemployment.

Candidate of the Christian-Democratic Movement, Giorgi Targamandze, says that Georgia's social problems are painful for the public. He stresses that “speaking on illusory plans and dreams” would not save the country. According to him, real plans are essential and that they would be based on real public demands.

He emphasizes that he has experience working to solve social issues successfully.

Candidate of the Labour party, Shalva Natelashvili, stresses that he would give their deposits to people lost in 90s. He says that both the Georgian Dream and the United National Movement are engaged in cheating people. He states that he is the only politician who has never betrayed people and is ready to fulfill the presidential duty in the service of public.

Presidential candidate, Nestan Kirtadze, claims that she will be able to launch the dialogue with the Abkhazian and South Ossetian people. She believes that the dialogue with the people of the occupied nations is a key point for de-occupation. She states that the GD candidate had no political background and lacks experience to carry out diplomatic talks.

Former member of the coalition, Koba Davitashvili, states that his being on the presidential post would cause restoration of justice in the country, changes in the labor code, improvement of the insurance system and solving some other painful social problems.

Former chair of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Zurab Kaharatishvili, believes that he will be able to perform the role of arbiter between the parliament and the government if he is elected on the position.

Presidential candidate Mikheil (Gela) Saluashvili‘s plans are related to the apocalypse. He stresses that apocalypse is coming close and in case if he is the president of the country Georgia will be able to be ready for the hardships caused by apocalypse.