Candidates from ruling Georgian Dream coalition hold comfortable lead in all 21 constituencies where second round runoffs of mayoral and provincial municipality executive offices were held on July 12, according to early official results.
In rest of the 46 municipalities and 4 self-governed cities elections were decided in the first round on June 15 in which GD’s candidates won outright victories.
With convincing victories by GD candidates in the July 12 runoffs in mayoral races in 8 cities and gamgebeli (head of provincial municipalities) posts in 13 municipalities, the ruling coalition will now fully control all the executive branches of local self-governing bodies across the country.
GD has also won majority of seats in local councils (Sakrebulo) across the country on June 15. Out of 71 Sakrebulos, GD holds more than half of the seats in 66 Sakrebulos. Five Sakrebulos were GD falls short of clear majority are in twon of Ozurgeti, as well as municipalities of Khoni; Abasha; Chkhorotsku and Kvareli (GD holds half of the seats in Kvareli Sakrebulo).
Georgian election observer organizations have said that although there were technical flaws and procedural irregularities during the voting process in the July 12 runoffs, those violations had no effect on overall outcome of the elections.
Voter turnout in the second round was 36%, down from 43.3% in the first round on June 15.
Mayoral Runoff Results
In the race for mayor of the capital city Tbilisi, GD’s Davit Narmania has almost 45 percentage-point lead over UNM’s Nika Melia, who has conceded defeat shortly after first partial results were announced.
Returns from all the polling stations in Tbilisi show Narmania with 72.47% of votes and Melia – 27.53%.
Among 8 mayoral runoff races, Ozurgeti is where the GD candidate has lowest poll lead. In this town in Guria region, GD’s Beglar Sioridze has more than 17 percentage-point lead over a candidate from the Alliance of Patriots, who has 41.1% of votes.
In Black Sea resort and port town of Batumi, where the lowest voter turnout was recorded in the runoffs, GD’s Giorgi Ermakov leads with 77.29% of votes and UNM’s Giorgi Diasamidze has 22.71%.
In Rustavi, GD’s Davit Jikia is set to win the race with 64.77% and UNM’s Mamuka Chikovani – 35.23%.
In Telavi, the main town of Kakheti region in eastern Georgia, GD’s Platon Kalmakhelidze will become the mayor with 70.61% of votes; UNM’s Alexi Dzuliashvili garnered – 29.39%.
In the port town of Poti in Samegrelo region, GD’s Irakli Kakulia won the mayoral race with 72.38%; Ushangi Gegenava of the Alliance of Patriots has 27.62%.
In Gori in Shida Kartli region GD’s Zurab Jirkvelishvili will become the mayor after winning 62.23% of votes; a candidate nominated by ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili’s Georgian Party, Kakhaber Ergemlidze, garnered 37.77%.
In the small town of Mtskheta, close to Tbilisi, GD’s Avtandil Nemsitsveridze won the mayoral race with 62.99% over Green Party’s candidate Davit Machkhaneli, who garnered 37.01%.
Gamgebeli Runoff Results
Among 13 gamgebeli runoff races, Lanchkhuti municipality in Guria region is where the GD candidate has lowest poll lead. GD’s Zaza Urushadze has over 12 percentage-point lead over Alliance of Patriots’ Barnab Chkonia, who garnered 43.88% of votes.
In other 12 municipalities results are as follow:
- Kvareli – GD’s Ilia Mzekalashvili – 79.85%; UNM’s Khatia Dekanoidze – 20.05%;
- Telavi – GD’s Alexandre Shatirishvili 70.93%; UNM’s Giorgi Botkoveli – 29.07%;
- Terjola – GD’s Teimuraz Japaridze – 61.44%; UNM’s Tariel Panchulidze – 38.56%;
- Khoni – GD’s Jemal Mebuke – 58.23%; UNM’s Zurab Jibukhaia, a former gamgebeli of Khoni, who is in pre-trial detention since February, received 41.77% of votes;
- Kobuleti – GD’s Sulkhan Evgenidze – 76.3%; UNM’s Revaz Kharazi – 23.67%;
- Tianeti – GD’s Lela Kitesashvili 64.5%; Ilia Archemashvili of Nino Burjanadze-led United Opposition coalition – 35.5%;
- Akhmeta – GD’s Beka Baidauri – 59.19%; Burjanadze-led United Opposition’s Zurab Pilashvili 40.81%;
- Tkibuli – GD’s Robizon Gvenetadze 68.81%; Burjanadze-led United Opposition’s Tengiz Chikaberidze 31.19%;
- Martvili – GD’s Alexandre Grigalava 88.64%; Burjanadze-led United Opposition’s Davit Injia 11.36;
- Khulo – GD’s Besik Bauchadze – 57.64%; Alliance of Patriots’ Emzar Bolkvadze 42.36%;
- Gori – GD’s Davit Oniashvili – 66.95%; candidate from Okruashvili’s Georgian Party Bondo Vatiashvili – 33.05%;
- Bagdati – GD’s Irakli Gegeshidze –56.44%; a candidate from Georgia’s Way Mevlud Kiknavelidze 43.56%;