Ruling party says UNM representatives in regions are ‘destructive, provocative’

Georgia will have municipal elections on October 2. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 25 Sep 2021 - 19:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream party says opposition United National Movement (UNM) party members in regions are acting in a destructive and provocative manner.

Ruling party MP Irakli Chikovani said at a news briefing earlier today that for several days now the UNM representatives have been staging provocations to ‘artificially damage the peaceful and calm election environment’ in various regions. 

Chikovani said Mtavari Arkhi TV journalists' ‘storming into’ the ruling party headquarter in Kareli was one of the first examples, followed by assaults in Batumi, Khelvachauri and other locations throughout the country.

I would like to thank all of the activists who keep calm, avoid provocations and continue the election campaign, which aims to ensure a better future of our citizens”, Chikovani said. 

Speaking about a recent incident in Dmanisi where 'a UNM representative was badly injured', Chikovani thanked the interior ministry 'for rapid response'. 

The day before yesterday this chain of destructive actions continued by UNM’s formal leader Nikanor Melia, who staged a provocation in front of the European Union [delegation's] office”, the ruling party MP said. 

He further added that UNM has ‘staged yet another provocation’ with its mayor candidate attempting to provoke ruling party supporters at the Georgian Dream’s HQ in Kaspi. 

I call on everyone, including the Georgian Dream supporters and other citizens to first of all ensure peaceful election environment where we can make our choice in a free and peaceful manner”, Chikovani said. 

A total of 42 political parties and 76 initiative groups are running in the upcoming municipal elections, including 241 mayoral candidates, 2,845 majoritarian candidates in 664 single-member constituencies and 773 proportional lists.

Over 3.4 million voters will elect mayors and members of the local councils through a mixed system of majoritarian seats and proportional lists in 64 municipalities.

Majoritarian candidates must obtain over 40 per cent of the valid votes cast, and candidates for mayor over 50 per cent, otherwise a second round is held within four weeks.