UNM opposition may lose majority in Zugdidi city assembly after recount of votes

Zugdidi city assembly was the only in which the United National Movement opposition party appeared in majority after the first round of the October 2 municipal elections. 

Agenda.ge, 08 Oct 2021 - 14:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party may not be able to form a majority in Zugdidi city assembly in western Georgia after a recent recount of invalid ballot papers in four polling stations per the request of the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling party. 

After the recount of the invalid ballot papers late yesterday, the GD majoritarian candidate received more votes than the UNM candidate, who earlier had two votes more and was declared as a winner after the first round of municipal elections on October 2. 

One majoritarian run-off in Zugdidi on October 30 will make it clear whether the UNM will be able to form a majority in the city assembly. 

Zugdidi city assembly is composed of 45 members. 

Election run-offs will take place in 20 of 64 mayoral and majoritarian constituencies on October 30. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

After the first round of elections, the UNM received 22 of the 45 seats (one deducted after the recent recount of votes), the GD got 19 seats and ex-PM Giorgi Gakharia’s For Georgia party received three seats. 

The runoff will be held in the fourth election constituency of Zugdidi between the UNM and the GD candidates at the end of the month.

 If the UNM loses the race or it fails to make a coalition with the For Georgia party, it will not be able to form the majority. 

The UNM claims that the recount of the votes took place with violations and has plans to file a complaint to the country’s Chief Prosecutor's Office, while the GD says that the recount of votes took place with the presence of observers.