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Opposition Considers Cooperation in Majoritarian MP Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Mar.'08 / 15:02

Although no formal talks have yet been held, opposition parties acknowledge that the only way to challenge ruling party majoritarian MP candidates would be to agree on single candidates in each of the 75 constituencies.

A majoritarian MP candidate winning more than others and more than only 30% of the vote would be declared the outright winner in the first round without the need for a runoff. Under this rule ruling party majoritarian MP candidates would be better positioned if they have to compete with several candidates from various opposition parties or blocs, because the overall opposition vote would be split.

“The only way to defeat the ruling party in the majoritarian MP elections is coordination between key opposition parties, I mean first and foremost, the Republican Party, the eight-party coalition and the New Rights Party,” Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party told Civil.Ge on March 26. “For this, it is necessary to avoid competition between opposition majoritarian MP nominees.”

Politicians from the eight-party opposition coalition and the New Rights have also voiced similar sentiments.

The Labor Party, meanwhile, said that it would consider the option, although it said that its preference was for a boycott of the parliamentary elections – an option already rejected by the other opposition parties.

Asked about possible cooperation with the Labor Party, Khidasheli replied: “Cooperation with the political party, which recently has only engaged in attacking and criticizing other opposition parties, is hardly possible; we, however, are ready for that [cooperation] as well.” Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the Labor Party, lambasted the opposition last week, saying that “there is no difference between some of the opposition and the current authorities.”

Khidasheli herself said she would run in the Tbilisi Saburtalo single-mandate constituency for the majoritarian MP seat.

The ruling National Movement Party, meanwhile, has already launched the selection process for majoritarian MP candidates. Mze TV reported on March 25 that the ruling party planned to recruit some business executives, including Giorgi Goguadze, the director general of People’s Bank; Archil Gegenava, chief executive of the Teliani Valley wine producing company and Tamaz Gaiashvili, the chairman of Georgian Airways.

The deadline for the registration of candidates is April 21, a month before polling day.

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