A number of opposition parties have put forward the United National Movement chair Nika Melia for the post of Tbilisi mayor, while Droa movement leader Elene Khoshtaria has been put forward for the City Council (Sakrebulo) chair for the upcoming municipal elections in October.
Melia and Khoshtaria released a joint video address in Facebook yesterday as representatives of ‘multi-party coalition’.
Now is the time to prove [our] unity not only with words, but deeds and decisions... I strongly believe that the coalition government is the future of Georgia”, the UNM chair said.
Noting that ‘there is no time for celebrations’ in the country where journalists ‘are being beaten’ and citizens are ‘left alone’ to face the coronavirus pandemic, Melia said he is ready to fight.
I have never feared to fight not because I am brave enough, rather because I know that the sincere fight ends with eventual victory”, Nika Melia said in his video address.
Nika Melia, charged with incitement to violence during the June protests in Tbilisi back in 2019, was was released shortly after the Georgian political parties signed the EU-mediated agreement in April. Photo: NIka Melia's Facebook page
Melia also said that the UNM will not name majoritarian candidates in any district of Tbilisi; it will support the joint opposition candidates instead.
Today Elene and I are standing in front of you as representatives of multi-party coalition.
Former member of European Georgia party Elene Khoshtaria who now leads Droa movement also believes that it is time to ‘stand above the narrow party interests and show the power of unity to the team, which is destroying our country’.
Nika and I represent different teams, we have differences, we have argued and will still argue, but today we declare the joint fight”, Khoshtaria said.
Adding that ‘everything cannot be in hands of one force only’ Khoshtaria said ‘the power is in diversity’.
It is time for changes today, it is time for victory today”, she concluded.
Elene Khoshtaria, who refuced to take her parlaimentary mandate following the 2020 elections, created a new political force Droa (eng. It's Time) in March. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Moreover, leader of Girchi-More Freedom Zurab Japaridze, who could not join Melia and Khoshtaria due to health issues, was put forward for the post of vice-mayor of Tbilisi.
Japaridze wrote on Facebook that on October 2 municipal elections his team will also have several majoritarian candidates.
He said the main task of the opposition is to receive over 58 percent of votes in total leading to snap parliamentary elections, which is the part of the EU-mediated agreement.
The agreement says that ‘early parliamentary elections shall be called in 2022 if the Georgian Dream party receives less than 43% of valid proportional votes in the October 2021 local self-government elections’.
The opposition should therefore show their resources for compromise and cooperation”, he said.
Meanwhile, earlier this week the ruling Georgian Dream party has put forward current Tbilisi mayor Kakha Kaladze for reelection.