The FINANCIAL — According to Civil Georgia, voters in Adjara Autonomous Republic will elect the local parliament on November 3. By-elections are held in Tbilisi’s two single-mandate constituencies on the same day to fill two fill two vacant seats in the Georgian Parliament.
Six parties are contesting 18 seats in the Adjara’s local parliament – the Supreme Council – with most of the opposition parties boycotting the polls.
The Christian-Democratic Party and On Our Own party – running in the polls – make up the parliamentary minority. The other four parties are: the ruling National Movement Party; the Georgian Troupe; Industrialists; and the United Communist Party of Georgia. The Georgian Politics party said just recently that it was withdrawing from the race.
The ruling party and Christian-Democratic Party, led by MP Giorgi Targamadze, who has spent several years working in Adjara in 1990s as ex-Adjarian leader Aslan Abashidze’s spokesman, are expected to gain most of the seats in the local parliament.
Six-member delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe arrived in Georgia on October 31 to observer the elections in Adjara. Main local election observer groups are also monitoring the polls.
The outgoing local parliament passed amendments to the law this summer setting new key rules ahead of polls.
Number of seats in the Supreme Council – the Adjara’s legislative body – was reduced from 30 to 18. Six out of 18 members will be elected through majoritarian contest in the Autonomous Republic’s single-mandate constituencies. A candidate receiving more than others, but not less than one-third of votes will be announced an outright winner of the majoritarian contest. Remaining 12 seats will be contested through the party-list, proportional system.
Amendments have also reduced election threshold for party-list system from 7% to 5%.
Meanwhile low-key MP by-elections are held in Tbilisi’s Didube and Vake single-mandate constituencies also on November 3.
The by-elections are required in Tbilisi’s two single-mandate constituencies after the two sitting majoritarian MPs – the New Rights Party's Davit Saganelidze and Davit Gamkrelidze, renounced their MP mandates in Didube and Vake, respectively, in protest at what they called the fraudulent May 21 parliamentary elections. Total of twelve opposition politicians renounced their MP mandates, but others were elected through the party-list system so MP by-elections were required only in two districts.
Not only most of the opposition parties are boycotting the by-elections, but also the ruling party has refused to run.
Three candidates are contesting in each of the single-mandate constituency. In Didube – Natia Mikiashvili, a former journalist of Imedi TV, who is nominated by the Georgian Troupe party; Guram Chakhvadze of the National-Democratic Party and Jemal Natelashvili of the National Party of Georgian Radical-Democrats. In Vake – Tamaz Kvachantiradze, nominated by the Christian-Democratic Party; Levan Asatiani, nominated by On Our Own party and Kakha Koridze, nominated by the Georgian Troupe party.
MP by-elections were initially planned for early October, but were postponed because of the August war.