Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) named majoritarian MP candidates for Tbilisi’s eight out of ten single-mandate constituencies during an indoor campaign rally in the capital city on August 14.
CDM, which has a small faction in outgoing parliament, is the third most popular political group in Georgia trailing far behind ruling United National Movement (UNM) party and Bidzina Ivanishvili-led Georgian Dream coalition, according to all the recent publicly available polls.
Candidates, nominated in Tbilisi, include CDM’s some of the leading figures, among them is Vice-Speaker of Parliament Levan Vepkhvadze, who will run in Isani single-mandate constituency. Deputy Justice Minister Giorgi Vashadze will run in the same constituency as the ruling party’s candidate and Georgian Dream coalition nominated in Isani Nukri Kantaria, co-founder of Georgian Academy, a group uniting opposition-minded actors, academics and some intelligentsia figures.
Inga Grigolia, formerly a popular TV host and now a CDM member of Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) will run in Gldani single-mandate constituency, where she will face ruling party’s Nikoloz Khachirashvili, also a Tbilisi Sakrebulo member, and Georgian Dream’s candidate, actor and film director Soso Jachvliani.
Magda Anikashvili, a member of the outgoing parliament, will be CDM’s majoritarian MP candidate in Samgori, where her rivals will be ruling party’s general secretary and parliamentary vice-speaker Mikheil Machavariani, as well as Georgian Dream’s Zurab Abashidze, a member of Tbilisi Sakrebulo.
Jaba Samushia, deputy chairman of Tbilisi Sakrebulo, will run in Nadzaladevi, where he will face MP Merab Samadashvili of the ruling party and Tea Tsulukiani of Georgian Dream.
Zaza Gabunia, member of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo, will run in Krtsanisi single-mandate constituency. Ruling party nominated in the same constituency former deputy chief prosecutor, Davit Sakvarelidze. Georgian Dream’s candidate in Krtsanisi is Shota Khabareli, 1980 Olympic champion in judo.
Other candidates named by CDM on August 14 are Kakha Basilia, who will run in Chugureti single-mandate constituency; Nino Gurieli, a chess player, will run in Vake and Peria Antia will run in Mtatsminda.
CDM has yet to name its candidates for Tbilisi’s two single-mandate constituencies – Didube and Saburtalo.
CDM, which formally launched campaigning in mid-July, held the campaign rally in basketball arena in Tbilisi on August 14.
CDM leaders reiterated their key election messages, among them one is a pledge to cut utility tariffs.
The party leaders say that it will be made possible by allocating GEL 1 billion from the state budget for buying back two electricity distribution companies – Telasi, an electricity grid in capital Tbilisi in which 75% is owned by Russia’s state-controlled power trader, Inter RAO, and 24.53% - by the Georgian state, and Energo-Pro Georgia, a local subsidiary of the Czech company Energo-Pro, which distributes electricity to about 864,000 customers outside Tbilisi.