Ex-Defence Minister denied possibility to run for Mayor

The Central Election Commission refused Okruashvili’s application to allow him to run for Mayor.
Agenda.ge, 23 Apr 2014 - 09:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili has been denied the opportunity to run in the upcoming self-Government elections.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday refused Okruashvili’s application to allow him to run for Mayor of his native town of Gori, in the Shida Kartli region, in the June 15 local elections.

Okruashvili announced his plan to run for Gori Mayor last month but his bid is facing legal hurdles related to two-year residency requirements.

Okruashvili, who was an ally of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s ally before he quit Cabinet in November 2006, was arrested in September 2007 – two days after launching an opposition party.

He was formerly charged with large scale threats and less than two weeks after he was arrested, Okruashvili was released on bail. He then left the country in what his supporters said was expulsion.

Okruashvili lived in France where he was granted asylum before he returned to Georgia in November 2012 after change of government in Georgia.

Gori District Election Commission (DEC) chairman issued a decree on the registration of Okruashvili as a Mayoral candidate on April 19 but the decision was challenged by the (CEC).

The CEC concluded Okruashvili failed to meet the two-year residency requirement and was unable to run for Gori Mayor.

The CEC discussed the appeal and Chairperson Tamar Zhvania said after a lengthy considerations, the CEC decided to annul Gori DEC’s decree.

In March when Okruashvili announced his intentions to run for Gori Mayor, he said that there were loopholes in the law which would allow him to by-pass the two-year residency requirement.