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Ruling GD candidate wins Mtatsminda run-off

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, June 11
Lado Kakhadze, the majoritarian MP candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, won the run-off in Mtatsminda constituency in Tbilisi on June 9.

The seat became vacant after Salome Zurabishvili, a majoritarian MP, was elected as the President of Georgia in November 2019.

Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) stated on Monday that according to the returns from all the 31 precincts, ruling party majoritarian MP candidate Lado Kakhadze and Shalva Shavgulidze, the majoritarian MP candidate of the European Georgia –Free Democrats electoral block, received 61.83% (10738 votes) and 37.17% (6630) of the votes respectively.

18,105 voters cast a ballot in the MP by-elections in Mtatsminda constituency, while the total number of the registered voters was 43,909, according to the CEC. A total of 41.23% of the total number of voters appeared on the elections on June 9.

Before the CEC announced official results, Kakha Kaladze, General Secretary of the ruling Georgian Dream party and Tbilisi mayor said 75% of ballot papers have been counted and the candidate of the ruling party leads the second round of the MP by-elections in Mtatsminda constituency with 62.5% of votes.

As for Shalva Shavgulidze of the European Georgia-Free Democrats, Kaladze said that he garnered 37.5% of votes.

Irma Nadirashvili, a member of the European Georgia party says the elections were fabricated.

“These elections were the merger of the criminal and the government…Today, the Georgian Dream has once again demonstrated that it wants to decide the election fate not at the polling stations, but through the mobilization of criminals, blackmailing and vote buying,” she stressed.

Georgia’s Interior Minister, Giorgi Gakharia said the government does not need the mobilization of criminal authorities to win the elections.

The Minister responded to the question about the mobilization of so-called criminal authorities at polling stations and noted that the police cannot restrict freedom of expression.

“If someone somehow violated the law, the police will investigate such cases,” he said.

After the results became known, Kakhadze thanked his supporters for believing in him.

“I would like to thank everyone who believed in the statements I made. This is one big family now, where we share joy and sorrow. Thank you to all those people who have voted for me but who have some trust in me,” he noted.

As for the opposition candidate, Shavgulidze stressed he will not congratulate Kakhadze.

“This time we could not convince Mtatsminda residents to vote for us…There is nothing congratulatory or welcoming in the results, as the Georgian Dream's government has once again carried out the elections with unacceptable methods for democracy,” he stressed.