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New Contender in Tbilisi Mayoral Race
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Dec.'09 / 15:39

Davit Iakobidze, who served as Georgia’s finance minister in 90s under former President Shevardnadze’s administration, said on December 1 he would run for Tbilisi mayoral office in local elections planned for May, 2010.

Iakobidze was nominated by MP Gia Tortladze’s Democratic Party of Georgia, established in November, 2008. MP Tortladze is a member of the parliamentary minority group. Iakobidze has kept a low profile and has not been engaged in politics since quitting the finance minister’s post in 1997.

So far Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia; leader of Party of People Koba Davitashvili and leader of Conservative Party Zviad Dzidziguri announced about the intention to run in the mayoral race. Dzidziguri and Davitashvili, however, also said that they would at first run in preliminary elections among the opposition parties – primaries – in an attempt to select a single opposition mayoral candidate. But it is not yet clear how many opposition parties will join the initiative to make primaries a meaningful tool for selecting single candidate.

Gigi Ugulava, a sitting mayor of Tbilisi, will be the ruling party’s candidate.

Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), a leading party in the parliamentary minority, also plans to nominate its candidate. The Georgian media speculates that CDM plans to nominate Giorgi Chanturia, who was president of the Georgian International Oil Corporation (GIOC) during Shevardnadze’s presidency. CDM declined to comment on these speculations saying that the party would soon nominate its candidate.

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