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Second-runner in Tbilisi Mayoral Race Establishes Civil Movement

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 10
Aleko Elisashvili, a journalist, former member of Tbilisi City Assembly, who came second in Tbilisi 2017 mayoral race without the affiliation of any political party, established a civil movement on Friday as the country “needs a new political force.”

Elisashvili stated that the Georgian Dream ruling party and the United National Movement opposition, two major political parties of the country, “no longer think about Georgia” as they are “entertained with confrontations with each other.”

He says that the civil movement, “which may turn into a political unity” in the future, is open for only qualified and honest people.

“Everyone, who meets the two criteria may become the movement members,” Elisashvili said.

He stated that education, healthcare and urban issues will be priorities for the new movement.

Elisashvili also told the media that "Brussels” showed interest in him when he came second in the mayoral race and gained more votes than the candidates of two top opposition parties- the United National Movement and the European Georgia.

“There was a call from Brussels, they were interested who was the person, who came second [in the October 2017 mayoral race] without money. I and my fellows have arrived in Brussels for several times, a delegation has arrived here from Brussels too and we received support from the European Democracy Support Foundation.

“At this stage, we will have branches in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi and we are working to open offices in other regions too,” Elisashvili said.

Elisashvili, who chaired presidential pardon commission from November 2013 till mid-2014 was elected as an independent member of the Tbilisi City Assembly in 2014.

In 2015 he accused several members of the ruling party of trying to influence him to achieve releasing of certain inmates.