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Two Ministers quit posts ahead of elections

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 12
Georgia’s Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze and Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia had to quit their posts as they are taking part in the forthcoming October 8 Parliamentary Elections.

They both resigned on September 10 as they are participating in the elections with the name of the current ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party.

Kaladze was named as the number two in the GDDG party list, while Danelia will compete as the party majoritarian candidate in Georgia’s western Martvili-Abasha areas in the Samegrelo region.

Former Deputy Agriculture Minister Nodar Kereselidze and ex-Deputy Energy Minister Ilia Eloshvili replaced them in the ministerial posts until a new Cabinet is approved after the October elections.

Kaladze, who had been chosen to lead the ruling Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party through the pre-election period since June before the Parliamentary Elections, has frequently been criticized by the opposition United National Movement (UNM).

UNM members have accused Kaladze of masterminding, while Kaladze has called the statements as speculations and stressed the UNM efforts served the aim to “discredit his image.”

September 8 was the deadline for the political parties to present their party lists at Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC).

The Election Code read a number of politicians were not allowed to retain posts if they appeared in the lists and they must quit the posts within the two days after presenting the lists in CEC.

Ministers were among those who had to quit their posts as named in such lists.

Danelia was appointed as a minister in July 2014, while Kaladze took the post in October 2012, shortly after the Georgian Dream coalition defeated the United National Movement’s nine-year rule through the 2012 Parliamentary Elections.

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-member constituencies.

Generally known as a majoritarian mandate, candidates must gain 50 percent of votes in order to be an outright winner, otherwise a second round of voting must be held.

The remaining 77 seats are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among other political parties who clear the five percent threshold in the nationwide vote.