Four former candidates for Rustavi mayor, who didn't make runoff election, have thrown their support behind United National Movement’s (UNM) candidate, who came second in the June 15 election to win the place in the second round runoff, scheduled for July 12.
GD’s Davit Jikia, who received 40.49% of votes, and UNM’s Mamuka Chikovani, who garnered 29.23%, will be contesting in the second round in Rustavi, town in Kvemo Kartli region south from Tbilisi.
Aggregate votes of those four former candidates, who declared on July 7 about supporting UNM’s candidate, was 24.76% in the first round of elections on June 15.
One of them is Erosi Kitsmarishvili, a former co-owner of Rustavi 2 TV and ex-ambassador to Russia, who was on the third place with 12.07% of votes in the June 15 elections. Kitsmarishvili, who was actively involved in politics in 2010-2011, but kept low profile before re-emerging as a mayoral candidate, said on July 7 that he agreed to support UNM’s Mamuka Chikovani after the latter offered him to cooperate over the vision he has about development of Rustavi.
UNM’s mayoral candidate in Rustavi, Mamuka Chikovani, said that in case of election a council will be established, which will unite his four former competitors “to work together over development of Rustavi.”
Three other former candidates, who have declared support to Chikovani are: Koba Dzlierishvili, who was nominated by Nino Burjanadze-led coalition and who garnered 6.29% of votes in the first round; Ivane Shatirishvili, who was nominated by the Alliance of Patriots and who received 4.32% and Alexandre Beridze, nominated by the Non-Parliamentary Opposition bloc and who garnered 2.08% of votes.
Representatives from the political parties, whose candidates are now supporting UNM’s Chikovani in Rustavi, said on July 7 that this discussion was not endorsed by these parties and that their former candidates acted in their individual capacity, no longer representing respective parties.