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UNM Lays Out Rules for Compiling Its Party List of MP Candidates
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 30 Apr.'16 / 13:48

United National Movement (UNM) opposition party laid out on April 30 three principles based on which it plans to compile its party list of MP candidates for the October parliamentary elections.
UNM parliamentary minority leader, MP Davit Bakradze, said on Saturday that the process of compiling the party list will be “completely transparent and democratic” which will be “based on principles and not based on anyone’s desires.”

The first principle, he said, is a regional representation – those regions, where UNM and its candidates received more votes in the 2014 local elections, will be more represented in the party list. He said that it will be calculated based on a formula, which will secure “fair and transport” allocation of quotas.

“So each region will know that their representation [in the party list] will depend on votes they garnered” in previous elections, Bakradze said.

He said that this approach will apply to party-list candidates as well as to the process of selecting majoritarian MP candidates, which the party will nominate in 73 single-mandate constituencies.

Under the existing mixed electoral system, 77 seats in the parliament are allocated proportionally through party-list contest among political forces which will clear 5% threshold, and 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-mandate constituencies with the majority vote.

The second principle, based on which candidates will be included in the party list, stems from the need of “renewal” and “attracting new energy to the party”, MP Bakradze said.

“The party has to attract new faces, individuals who are well-known and successful. This is our response to the main problem, which is incompetence of the incumbent government… In contrast, we will present a team having competence and public confidence and you will see in this party list many new faces, people who are successful and professionals,” he said.

The third principle, Bakradze said, is naming of candidates by party leadership in order to secure “continuity, because the party already has experience and there are people who are professionals” in specific fields.

“The final list will be approved by the party’s [main governing body] political council and then the list will be presented to the public in the nearest future,” MP Bakradze said.

According to the proposed scheme, 14 places in the top 30 of UNM’s party list will go to candidates named by the party leadership and 16 will be allocated based on regional representation – 6 places to Tbilisi; Imereti and Samegrelo – 3 each; Kvemo Kartli – 2; Kakheti and Adjara – 1 each.

Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now governor of Odessa region in Ukraine and who chaired UNM party before losing the Georgian citizenship in earlier December 2015, called on UNM in March to compile its party list based on gender balance by allocating half of the places in the list to female candidates – something that was not mentioned by MP Bakradze when laying out principles based on which UNM’s party will be drawn up.

In an interview aired by Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV on April 24, Saakashvili, who is involved in Ukraine’s political battles, said he’s confident that UNM will win in Georgia’s October parliamentary elections. He also said that although he seeks no public office in Georgia, he will return to the country immediately after UNM’s victory to help “create better perspective” for the country.

“I am convinced in victory; I have no doubt whatsoever,” Saakashvili said. “There are two forces – one associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili and another one with me [referring to UNM]; there is no third one at this stage; all the other [political forces] are imitation, maneuvering, money-making.”

“Winning elections, then arrival [in Georgia], and helping the team, which wins, in creating promptly new perspectives without losses – that’s all, that’s how I see it,” he said.

“With high probability I will find way to get actively involved in elections and after the elections I am sure I will immediately arrive in Georgia. But it does not mean saying no to a great mission that we pursue in Ukraine,” he said and added that success of Ukraine and Georgia are inseparable. “For me it’s not a choice between Ukraine and Georgia; it is about common better future.”

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