Giorgi Baramidze to contest for President of Georgia.

Giorgi Baramidze

Giorgi Baramidze

Giorgi Baramidze, the Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament and close associate of the current Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili told participants at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Tbilisi on 30 April that he will participate in American style primary elections that will select the candidate of the United National Movement for the forthcoming Presidential elections scheduled to be held in Georgia in October.

Baramidze thus became the first prominent politician to announce that he will participate in the election process.

The ruling Georgian Dream Coalition is expected to announce its candidate for the election in May.

source: CEW


UNM parliamentarians walk out of Parliament.

Head of UNM faction in the Georgian Parliament, David Bakradze.

All 59 of the United National Movement (UNM) Members of Parliament walked out of the Georgian Parliament on 8 November in protest of the arrest of three senior defence officials (see story in this issue) on allegations of abuse and what they deem an unnecessary tax audit of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB).

David Bakradze, parliamentary leader of the UNM, told journalists on Thursday that his party would not work under the hostile conditions imposed by the Georgian Dream administration. After staging the walk out on Thursday, Bakradze stated that the UNM was suspending its work in parliament given the “current conditions” in which “the authorities are trying to establish control over the military and the televisions.” He did not specify under which circumstances the UNM parliamentarians would return. UNM lawmakers accuse the Ivanishvili administration of political motivations in these two developments, stating that the Georgian Dream fabricated the charges laid against the chief of staff of the military to put their own candidate in place. A charge which the government denies. More…

President Saakashvili concedes defeat in parliamentary elections

Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat of his United National Movement in the 1 October parliamentary elections. In a televised speech the president said

Dear citizens,

The preliminary results of the Parliamentary Elections show the winning party to be the Georgian Dream. This means that the parliamentary majority should form the new government.

As president, within our constitutional framework, I will support that process so that parliament may function as it should and elect the Speaker of parliament as well as forming a new government. More…

Georgian Elections: Mostly Free but largely unfair.

Like the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian parliamentary elections held on 1 October 2012, reflected a mix of the best and worst practises for conducting elections in a free and democratic society.

Regardless of the result and the controversy around it that will continue for some time to come, the picture is patchy. More…

Bidhzina Ivanishvili wins Georgian election according to four opinion polls

The Georgian Dream Coalition (GD) led by Bidhzina Ivanishvili has won the Parliamentary elections in Georgia, according to four exit polls defeating the United National Movement (UNM) of President Mikheil Saakashvili. All four exit polls are now out. Rustavi2 has GD at 51%; UNM at 41%. GPB has GD at 35%; UNM at 30%. Maestro has GD at 63%, UNM at 27%. And NGO League of Voters has GD at 70%; UNM at 25%. Official results are expected in a few hours time. There is a big discrepancy between the four polls but all confirm an Ivanishvili victory.

Polling was brisk throughout the day and was largely peaceful. There were many small minor infringements recorded, and a few more serious ones connected mainly with the voting process.

Mikheil Machavariani: “The UNM builds its election platform upon the past achievements in modernisation of the country, namely, on the success in fighting organised crime and rampant corruption.” 1

Ahead of the 1 October Parliamentary elections in Georgia, Caucasus Elections Watch interviewed Mikheil Machavariani, Secretary General of the United National Movement, the party of government in Georgia. In this exclusive interview with Marion Kipiani, Machavariani speaks at length on the challenges and achievements of the UNM in government and of its programme for the future. This interview is part of a series with Georgian politicians. More…