Minister Kaladze encourages voters to take part in runoff election

Kaladze believed the June 15 local elections were the start of handing the self-government to the Georgian people. Photo: Kaladze’s Facebook page, 17 Jun 2014 - 14:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

The General Secretary of ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition and Vice Premier Kakha Kaladze hailed Sunday’s self-government elections as a success and called on voters to support the second round of voting.

Kaladze, who is also the country’s Energy Minister, hoped for a high turnout of voters for the runoff election, which is expected to be held at the end of next month.

Kaladze believed the ruling party was the favourite political group in Georgia and said this showed in the consistent election results achieved by GD majoritarian (single-mandate constituencies) and gamgebeli (municipal executives) candidates.

"Georgian Dream candidates are leading across the country including in those cities where a runoff is expected,” he said at a press conference this morning.

Preliminary election results revealed GD coalition candidates won in 811 districts out of 1,049 single-mandate constituencies across Georgia. Furthermore, 128 mandates had been obtained by candidates that were introduced by initiative groups and the remaining 238 mandates had been gained by opposition parties, Kaladze stated.

In his comments, Kaladze stressed opposition party United National Movement (UNM) claimed they were the main opposition political force in the country but in reality, the party only gained 64 mandates out of 238.

On the other hand, the GD coalition gained up to 1,400 mandates across the country, including party-list proportional contest and single-mandate constituencies, he said.

"The high level of democracy in the country has been reflected from the fact that six opposition political parties will race in the second round against the leading political force,” Kaladze said.

He believed the June 15 local elections were the start of handing the self-government to the Georgian people.

The Central Election Commission have not yet released the final results of Sunday’s election but initial results revealed a second round runoff would be held to select Mayors in at least eight of 12 cities, including Tbilisi. A runoff is also expected for gamgebelis in municipalities in 13 districts out of 59 municipalities.