Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the opposition coalition Georgian Dream, named on July 19 majoritarian MP candidates for all the ten single-mandate constituencies in Tbilisi and for some other constituencies in the provinces.
Davit Usupashvili, chairman of Republican Party, will run in Tbilisi’s Saburtalo single-mandate constituency. While presenting Usupashvili, Ivanishvili said that the Republican Party leader was an important figure personally for him, often receiving political advice from Usupashvili. Although the ruling party has yet to formally name its majoritarian MP candidate for Saburtalo constituency, it has been reported that former healthcare minister and now deputy mayor of Tbilisi Andria Urushadze would run in Saburtalo.
Usupashvili’s wife Tina Khidasheli, who is one of the key figures within the Republican Party and the Georgian Dream coalition, was running as a majoritarian MP candidate in Saburtalo during 2008 parliamentary elections and then for Tbilisi City Council membership in 2010 local elections, but lost the race in both cases. Khidasheli, who is a member of Tbilisi City Council through party-list, proportional system, has been named as Georgian Dream’s majoritarian MP candidate in Sagarejo, a single-mandate constituency in eastern region of Kakheti.
Also a Republican Party member Vakhtang Khmaladze will run in Didube single-mandate constituency. The ruling party is reportedly mulling on naming in this constituency Giorgi Baramidze, deputy prime minister and state minister for Euro-Atlantic integration. Didube was one of those two constituencies in Tbilisi, which was won by an opposition candidate during the 2008 parliamentary elections.
Another constituency where an opposition candidate won the majoritarian race in 2008 was Vake, where Ivanishvili nominated lawyer Shalva Shavgulidze of Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) as Georgian Dream’s candidate. The ruling party has named deputy economy minister Giorgi Karbelashvili as its candidate in the Vake constituency.
Lawyer Tea Tsulukiani also from OGFD was named as a majoritarian MP candidate in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi single-mandate constituency.
Other OGFD representatives, named as Georgian Dream majoritarian candidates are Zurab Abashidze and Victor Dolidze, both members of the Tbilisi City Council, who will run in Samgori and Chugureti single-mandate constituencies, respectively.
The Georgian Dream named an actor Zaza Papuashvili as a majoritarian MP candidate in Tbilisi’s Mtatsminda single-mandate constituency. The ruling party is expected to name in this constituency Archil Gegenava, who is a majoritarian MP elected in Mtatsminda constituency in 2008 elections.
Shota Khabareli, 1980 Olympic champion in judo, will run in Tbilisi’s Krtsanisi single-mandate constituency; Nukri Kantaria, co-founder of Georgian Academy, a group uniting opposition-minded actors, academics and some intelligentsia figures, will run in Isani single-mandate constituency and an actor and director Soso Jachvliani will run in Gldani, which is the country’s one of the largest constituencies by number of voters.
The Georgian Dream named former footballer Murtaz Khurtsilava as its majoritarian candidate in Martvili, a single-mandate constituency in Samegrelo region in western Georgia. A former judge Giorgi Nachkebia will run in Tsalenjikha in Samegrelo region.
A doctor Malkhaz Tsereteli of the Republican Party was named in Chiatura of Imereti region and Nika Sanodze, who has once already served as a majoritarian MP from Khoni constituency will run in the same single-mandate constituency in Imereti region. Davit Darakhvelidze, a former governor of Racha-Lechkhumi, will run in Ambrolauri constituency.
Out of 73 single-mandate constituencies throughout the country, the Georgian Dream has yet to name its candidates in five constituencies – Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, Zugdidi, Marneuli and Tsageri.