Although most of the opposition parties have snubbed the idea of holding so called primaries to select a single opposition candidate for Tbilisi mayoral race, initiators of the proposal are determined to proceed.
Conservative Party; Party of People and Movement for Fair Georgia, led by ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli, announced on February 1, that the primaries would be held in Tbilisi on April 18. They have been joined with three small and little-known parties: Party of Veterans; Party of Future and Christian Georgian.
Holding of the primaries was initially offered by Conservative Party, which was then joined by Party of People and Movement for Fair Georgia. Leaders of Conservative Party and Party of People, Zviad Dzidziguri and Koba Davitashvili, respectively, said they would run for Tbilisi mayoral office, but would at first participate in the primaries. Ex-PM Nogaideli’s party joined the initiative later, although Nogaideli himself has no intention to run.
In a joint statement the three parties also said on February 1 that they intend to launch “new wave of protest rallies” from April 9 and expressed hope that other opposition parties would also join them. The three parties said they would hold a large-scale rally on May 26 “to warn” the authorities against election fraud. Local elections, according to the draft of constitutional amendment which has yet to be approved by the Parliament, should be held before June 1, 2010.
“After winning the local elections, we will continue uncompromising struggle for final and immediate dismantling of Saakashvili’s illegal regime,” the parties said in the statement.