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GD candidate wins Gardabani Governor Elections

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 1
Georgian Dream (GD) coalition candidate, Gocha Jamarauli has won snap elections in Georgia’s eastern Gardabani region.

In the race for the Gardabani Governor’s post, Jamarauli defeated the opposition United National Movement’s (UNM) candidate, Besik Kakhabrishvili.

Kakhabrishvili was his only rival.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) said Jamarauli received 70.15 percent of votes (16,104 votes), while Kakhabrishvili earned 29.85 percent of votes (6,851 votes).

The CEC announced 33% of voters participated in the elections, which equalled 23,805 people out of the 71,847 registered voters.

The body stressed that “only procedural violations took place during the election process and the majority of them were timely resolved”.

However, it stated that despite the calm voting environment, confrontations among several citizens were observed near some polling stations.

The Governor’s post became vacant after the death of Gela Nioradze in late November last year.

GD member Nioradze won the post in the 2014 local elections with over 56 percent of the vote.

Kakhabrishvili ran for the same post in 2014 but was defeated by Nioradze after only gaining 27 percent of votes.

More than 650 representatives from local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were observing the elections, accompanied by eight foreign observers from the International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES).

Sixteen media outlets and 116 journalists were accredited to broadcast from the election stations.

The UNM opposition members stated that the GD coalition staged provocations near the polling stations in order to harm the chances of a UNM victory.

On the other hand, the GD coalition stressed that UNM supporters from the Free Zone movement arrived in Gardabani to create unrest, but failed as the election was conducted in line with international standards.