The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 9
Majoritarian candidate of opposition arrested

Bezhan Gunava, Samgori majoritarian candidate of the united opposition, and his son were arrested at a rally in front of the governmental administration building.

The incident happened after Bezhan Gunava tried picketing the building entrance.

Police called on Gunava to stand aside from the entrance, but he did not obey.

The arrest was followed by a clash between demonstrators and law enforcers. Some protesters claim that police physically abused Bezhan Gunava.

The protest continues in front of the governmental administration. According to the protesters, they will not go away until the Prime Minister listens to them.

The protesters are socially vulnerable citizens and IDPs of the Samgori district and they demand that the Ministry of Economy transfer local buildings to their ownership.

The same group held a protest event a few days ago, and Bezhan Gunava was also arrested then.

CEC: Number of Voters 3.45 Million

The number of Georgia’s voters stands at 3,452,093, according to updated figures released by the Central Election Commission (CEC) on August 6.

The CEC is responsible for compiling voter lists based on data provided four times a year by the relevant authorities, primarily the Justice Ministry’s Public Service Development Agency.

The election commission will have to release the updated figures on number of voters no later than October 3, five days before the parliamentary elections.

Data released by the CEC also includes the number of voters in each of the 73 election districts.

Election districts were redrawn earlier this year to narrow the huge discrepancy in size of single-mandate constituencies by merging some small districts and dividing larger ones.

As a result, the boundaries of single-mandate constituencies no longer coincide with those of administrative borders of municipalities.

The number of voters in each election district varies from 41,364 in the smallest one (Tbilisi’s single-mandate constituency covering mostly the capital city’s Vake district) to 53,480 in the largest one (the Gurjaani single-mandate constituency in eastern Georgian region of Kakheti).

Before the redistricting, the number of voters was ranging from over 150,000 in the largest to less than 6,000 in the smallest.

Lawmakers from the UNM opposition party challenged the electoral redistricting in the Constitutional Court, claiming that the boundaries were redrawn to the detriment of opposition parties. The Constitutional Court rejected the complaint in a ruling on July 20.

There is huge difference between the current and the 2012 pre-election processes - Giorgi Kvirikashvili

“Today there is no gap between the government and people, and this is the greatest achievement,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in Akhaltsikhe, where he presented the Georgian Dream’s majoritarian candidates.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili recalled the 2012 pre-election period: “There is huge difference between the current and the 2012 pre-election processes, but we are not satisfied with the achievement. We know how much hardship there is in the regions, we know how much difference there is between the levels of life of the capital and the countryside.

“Our main goal today is to take rapid steps in the next four years in order to ensure that each family feels well-being. We are a rich country; we are a diverse country; we have centuries-old traditions and culture of peaceful coexistence of different cultures, different nationalities. We have a great history and our future should be worthy of the continuation our ancestors’ legacy," Kvirikashvili told supporters.