Georgian Dream (GD) coalition and United National Movement (UNM) named on Wednesday their candidates, who will be running in MP by-elections to be held on April 27 in three single-mandate majoritarian constituencies.
By-elections will be held in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi constituency, as well as in Samtredia and Bagdati constituencies in the Imereti region, western Georgia.
All three candidates named by GD are newcomers in the politics with one practicing lawyer, another – professor of law and the third – also a lawyer with the background of advocating media rights.
While presenting GD’s nominations on March 27, PM Ivanishvili said the fact that all three picks for MP candidates were lawyers was not “by accident” and it was done with an aim to tackle lack of professionals among GD parliamentarians.
GD nominated Tamar Kordzaia as its candidate in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi constituency.
Up until now Kordzaia has served as executive director of the press council, a self-regulatory body for up to two hundred journalists united under the ethics charter. Before becoming executive director of the Council of Charter of the Journalistic Ethics in February 2012, Kordzaia served as head of the Media Legal Defense Center at the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA). She was involved in drafting of package of legislative amendments to the law on broadcasting, which is currently under consideration in the Parliament.
Her competitor from the UNM in the race for MP seat in the Nadzaladevi constituency will be Papuna Davitaia, who was the state minister for diaspora issues before October, 2012. Before becoming the state minister in late 2009, he was UNM parliamentarian.
GD nominated Paata Kiknavelidze, a corporate lawyer, as its candidate in Bagdati single-mandate constituency. Kiknavelidze has been with MKD law firm since 1999, practicing in commercial litigations, international arbitration and administrative law.
MP seat from Bagdati single-mandate constituency became vacant after Archil Kbilashvili, who was elected in that constituency in the October 1 elections, was appointed as chief prosecutor. Before joining Georgian Dream coalition Kbilashvili was a partner in MKD law firm and both, Kbilashvili and Kiknavelidze, were providing legal counsel to GD leader Bidzina Ivanishvili during his multiple court cases against the authorities during pre-election campaign.
UNM nominated in Bagdati constituency Vladimer Tsikoridze, who is deputy chairman of local city council (Sakrebulo).
GD named Giorgi Kakhiani, an associate professor of law at the Tbilisi State University, as its candidate in Samtredia single-mandate constituency. He was an assistant to deputy chairman of Supreme Court in 2002-2004 and worked as an advisor at the Constitutional Court in 2005-2007.
UNM named deputy chairman of local city council (Sakrebulo), Emzar Shubladze, as its candidate in Samtredia.
During naming of GD candidates, PM Ivanishvili told journalists on March 27, that his parliamentary majority was lacking MPs “efficient” in lawmaking, so three candidates were picked with the purpose of trying to fill that gap.
“[Parliamentary Chairman Davit] Usupashvili takes it very seriously that highly qualified people are needed in the Parliament, as lawmaking is not an easy job and professionals are needed for that,” Ivanishvili said. “We have endorsed many remarkable and beloved figures in the Parliament [in the October 1 elections] and many of them - although the society loves and respects them - fail to be as efficient in the Parliament as required for lawmaking. If we want to build a democratic country, first and foremost, we should have the appropriate laws and lawmaking is very important in this respect.”
This is the second time when Ivanishvili speaks publicly about the issue.
During his press conference on March 14, the Prime Minister said that many of the UNM lawmakers were more “experienced” than many MPs from his Georgian Dream coalition and such professionals from the UNM party should be able to contribute with their experience to the service of the country.
He said on March 14 that Usupashvili was complaining to him that because of lack of experienced lawmakers within Georgian Dream, “there are not even three persons from our team” who could properly help him.
Some of the MPs, who were elected in the Parliament as a result of running on six-party coalition Georgian Dream’s ticket, are actors, film directors, sportsmen with no experience in politics.
“Usupashvili reminds me every day not to even dare and nominate any famous artist [as an MP candidate in these by-elections],” PM Ivanishvili said on March 14. “A candidate should be able to work with laws; we are now looking for such people; he [Usupashvili] tells me: ‘it does not matter which team [a candidate] belongs to, important is that a candidate should know how to work in the Parliament’.”
MP by-elections on April 27 are held to fill three seats in the Parliament, which became vacant after three majoritarian MPs from GD were appointed in the executive government – Tea Tsulukiani, who was elected in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi single-mandate constituency was appointed as Justice Minister; Kakha Kaladze, who won majoritarian race in Samtredia constituency became Energy Minister and Archil Kbilashvili, who was a majoritarian MP from Bagdati single-mandate constituency, was appointed as chief prosecutor.