Results of interim elections in Georgia: UNM defeats Georgian Dream
The representatives of the United National Movement opposition party won the interim majoritarian elections to the capital's city council (Sakrebulo) in two of the nine districts, the Central Election Commission of Georgia said.
Deputies from the United National Movement defeated the opponents in the Ozurgeti municipality's Nasakirali in the Guria region and in the Zugdidi municipality's Kortsheli in the Samegrelo region.
There was a fight in Zugdidi (province of Samegrelo) during the elections, the UNM leaders Giga Bokeria, Nika Melia and Tengiz Gunava were beaten.
The United National Movement claimed that a fight has been preplanned by the Georgian Dream party. The Georgian Dream on the contrary believes that the conflict was provoked by the opposition.
A member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ Vakhtang Maisaya speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that we should not make predictions about the elections to the parliament on the basis of the interim elections results to the city council.
The expert explained that the interim elections did not include representatives of other political parties, such as the Alliance of Patriots or the coalition of Burjanadze 'Democratic Georgia'. "They have a good chance of defeating the representatives of the United National Movement. Therefore, these elections cannot be an indicator of public sentiment," a member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ said, noting that the low turnout is another factor that makes one question whether the election results is a real reflection of the voters’ views.
He predicted that no more than 9-10% of voters will support the UNM during the elections in autumn. The expert reminded that the United National Movement includes the representatives of the former ruling party, which received a lot of benefits in the old days, and now they want to return those times. "Those people, whose relatives and friends were working in the government and higher structures, which guarantied them good living, will support the UNM," Vakhtang Maisaya concluded.
A Political scientist and the president of the Club of Independent Experts, Josef Tsiskarishvili, said that the result of yesterday's elections can be seen as a triumph of democracy. "The fact that the opposition party won seats in different regions can be considered a victory of Georgian democracy," he noted.
The expert reminded that the former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said before local elections in 2014 that only the Georgian Dream can win. "He has fulfilled his word, and yesterday we saw a reaction to his words. Because a leader of any party who says that only his supporters will be able to win elections in all the districts, whether demonstrates an absolute lack of understanding of the situation, or shows self-confidence of the political party," Tsiskarishvili explained.
"Of course, the elections inspired the National Movement to be more active, but they are unlikely to achieve it before the elections in October. The only one who can help them is Bidzina Ivanishvili," the political expert added.
He said that yesterday's UNM's victory in two districts should be only regarded as a defeat of the Georgian Dream.
As a result, according to the expert, voters will not cast their votes for either the Georgian Dream or the United National Movement: it is unlikely they want the political forces, which have been in opposition for the last four years, to head the government.