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The News in Brief

Monday, August 8
Four tourists found dead on Ushba Mountain

Four tourists have been found dead on Ushba Mountain. Transportation procedures are underway now.

As IPN was told by MIA’s Emergency Management Agency, rescuers found the four tourists’ bodies this morning.

The tourists went missing on 5 August and rescue efforts have been underway since then.

The tourists have not been identified yet, and their nationality remains unknown.

GDDG Names Majoritarian MP Candidates in Kakheti Region

The Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party nominated its majoritarian MP candidates for the Kakheti region’s six single-mandate constituencies on August 5.

In a single-mandate district uniting Telavi and parts of the Lagodekhi and Kvareli municipalities, the ruling party named the chairman of the Defence and Security committee in the outgoing parliament, MP Irakli Sesiashvili, as its majoritarian MP candidate.

The United National Movement (UMN) opposition party nominated a former deputy governor of Kakheti region, Giorgi Botkoveli, as its majoritarian candidate in the same district of Telavi; he was running for Telavi municipality head (gamgebeli) in the 2014 local elections, but lost the race to Georgian Dream’s candidate.

In the same district, the Free Democrats (FD) opposition party nominated its member of local council (Sakrebulo) in Telavi, Dimitri Zakaidze, as its majoritarian MP candidate. At least one independent candidate has so far also been nominated in the same single-mandate constituency.

In Gurjaani, GDDG named Davit Songulashvili, a co-owner of Address, a firm which runs a retail clothing chain in Tbilisi.

His competitor from the UNM opposition party is Giorgi Gviniashvili, who seeks re-election as a majoritarian MP from the Gurjaani single-mandate constituency.

The Free Democrats opposition party named a member of the local council (Sakrebulo) in Gurjaani, Simon Kochorashvili, in the same district, while the Republican Party, GDDG’s former partner in coalition government, has nominated the deputy chairman of local council in Gurjaani, Zviad Kviralashvili, as its majoritarian candidate in Gurjaani.

In Sagarejo, the GDDG nominated as its majoritarian MP candidate Roman Muchiashvili, director and co-owner of Best Product, a firm distributing in Tbilisi chicken eggs produced in one of poultry farms in the Sagarejo municipality.

The UNM’s Zurab Tchiaberashvili, who was Georgia’s ambassador to Switzerland in 2010-2012 and then served as healthcare minister and governor of Kakheti region under ex-President Saakashvili’s administration, runs as a majoritarian MP candidate in Sagarejo.

In a single-mandate district uniting Lagodekhi and parts of the Kvareli municipality, the GDDG nominated as its majoritarian MP candidate Guram Macharashvili, who is now deputy governor of the Shida Kartli region; he worked as a lawyer at ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank between 2001-2014.

The UNM nominated in the same district head of its local branch in Lagodekhi Guram Kakalashvili as its candidate majoritarian MP candidate.

The FD’s Vakhtang Mchedlidze, who was a Tbilisi City Council member from the UNM party before quitting the party in early 2011 and who joined the FD party this year, runs in the same district uniting Lagodekhi and parts of Kvareli municipality.

Governor of the Kakheti region, Irakli Shiolashvili, is GDDG’s majoritarian MP candidate in a single-mandate district uniting Signagi and Dedoplistskaro municipalities.

His competitor from the UNM party is MP Levan Bezhashvili, who narrowly lost the race in the same district to the Georgian Dream’s candidate in 2012 elections; he, however, became an MP through UNM’s party list in 2012 elections.

An MP from the GDDG, Gela Samkharauli, will run as a majoritarian MP candidate in Akhmeta, where his competitor from FD opposition party will be Otar Kvirikashvili, who left the Georgian Dream party in 2014. Most of the other parties have yet to name their candidates in Akhmeta.

Apart from Kakheti, the ruling party has so far nominated its majoritarian MP candidates in the Imereti, Samegrelo, Guria, Shida Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, and Kvemo Kartli regions.

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-member constituencies, known in Georgia as “majoritarian” mandates (a candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner otherwise a second round should be held), and rest 77 seats are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties, which clear a 5% threshold in nationwide popular vote.

Former UNM members join New Rightists in bloc called ‘New Choice’

Two political parties formed by ex-National Movement members together with an opposition party without representatives in Parliament on Friday launched a new election bloc for the upcoming parliamentary election.

The name of the new bloc is New Choice – Akhali Archevani and all three parties it encompasses were represented at the launch presentation at Lisi Lake near the center of Tbilisi:

Girchi, headed by former UNM member Zurab Japaridze, and Akhali Sakartvelo, headed by former UNM member Giorgi Vashadze, and the New Rightists Party.

Mamuka Katsitadze, leader of the New Rightists Party, said during the presentation that the three parties may have different opinions about the past, but they have the same opinion about the future.

“We have united because of our values, not due to any particular individual,” Giorgi Vashadze said.

Japaridze said that the goal of the bloc is to unite a divided society, to double Georgia’s economy and create a better future for the next generation.

The bloc declares that it has a pro-Western orientation.
(DF watch)