A majoritarian MP by-election in Telavi in which a ruling party candidate has won by a landslide was held “calmly” in “civilized” way, with “normal debates” and with high voter turnout, which should become “a model” for the parliamentary elections, President Saakashvili said.
35.7% of about 56,900 voters registered in Telavi constituency cast ballot in the October 2 by-election held in the Telavi constituency, Kakheti region, to fill a vacant seat in the Parliament. The voter turnout was described by Central Election Commission chairman, Zurab Kharatishvili, as modest, which was usual trend for by-elections.
“Some radical opposition groups try to soothe themselves by thinking that… people would awaken and support them,” President Saakashvili said on October 4 while visiting Kutaisi. “This MP by-election in Telavi… triggered unimaginable activity, which confirmed that people are very active and that actually people very actively support the existing course. It does not mean that people support the course blindly without criticism and it does not mean that people will like self-satisfied or happy government – how can [the government] be self-satisfied when there is so many hardship, misfortune, unemployment… when territories are occupied; there is nothing for self-praise, but the way we work to overcome these difficulties is supported by the people.”
He hailed that no major irregularities were reported during the election day, adding that “it was important for me to see whether we are able or not to hold civilized elections with its normal electoral campaign.”