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Run-off election scheduled for July 12

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 7
Georgia’s runoff election will be held on July 12.The Central Election Commission (CEC) has stated that they reached a final decision on when the second round of elections will be held. The CEC decided that on July 12, the runoffs for mayors and local governors will be held in 13 municipalities and eight cities across the country.

The CEC officially approved the results of the first round. According to the final announcement, the Georgian Dream coalition received 50.8 percent of the votes, the UNM 22.5 percent, and Nino Burjanadze - United Opposition got 10.2 percent. The CEC also said the first sessions of the newly elected city councils would be held on July 14 and August 2.

Members of the United National Movement are appealing the decision of the court, stating that the CEC is being influenced by the Georgian Dream coalition. The UNM representatives state that political parties had no time to appeal the final outcomes.

According to the UNM MP Khatuna Gogorishvili, through the legislation, after releasing a summarizing report by the CEC, parties are given several days to get familiarized with the document and appeal to the figures or solutions if they find mistakes there.

Responding to the accusation, Deputy Head of CEC Giorgi Sharabidze said that the appealing term for the parties expired on July 4.

“If parties wanted to appeal certain points, they could. However, the term has already expired,” Sharabidze stated, stressing that the CEC decision concerning the run-off date meets legislation.

Georgian dream denies making any influence on the CEC.

“The decision was made by the CEC independently and we obey the decision,” Irakli Sesiashvili stated.

Zaza Vekua from Nino Burjanadze-United Opposition state that the run-off date was acceptable for the opposition unity, as they do not have many financial resources.

“The earlier the better,” he stated.

NGOs state that the CEC decision meets the legislation. However, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy states that it would be better if the CEC gave more time to parties to familiarize themselves with the outcomes better and appeal if they find errors.