Candidates from ruling GDDG party are set to win all but two seats which were up for grabs in May 22 local by-elections in nine localities across the country to fill vacant seats in respective local councils (Sakrebulo), according to official results.
UNM opposition party, which fielded its candidates in four out of nine localities, are set to win two seats – one in Zugdidi municipality’s Sakrebulo in the Samegrelo region and another one in Ozurgeti municipality in the Guria region.
In Zugdidi’s Kortskheli single-mandate constituency, where a fistfight erupted outside a polling station in which some leaders and activists of UNM were beaten up by supporters of GDDG, UNM’s candidate won the race with a 10 vote margin over his closest rival from GDDG party, with 623 votes to 613, respectively; the third candidate, named by the Free Georgia party, received 16 votes.
Votes in Kortskheli, where the race was close between UNM and GDDG candidates, were “recounted for several times”, according to chairperson of the Central Election Commission Tamar Zhvania.
In the 2014 local elections in the same constituency of Kortskheli, UNM had the same candidate, who at the time lost the race to Georgian Dream’s nominee by a 47 vote margin.
UNM’s candidate defeated GDDG in Ozurgeti municipality’s Nasakirali single-mandate constituency with a large margin of 714 votes to 484, respectively; there were only these two candidates in Nasakirali village, which has total of 2,073 voters.
Like in Kortskheli, in Nasakirali too UNM had the same candidate who also ran in the 2014 local elections, but at the time he was defeated by the GD candidate by a margin of 235 votes.
GDDG candidate won the race for one vacant seat in Tskaltubo Sakrebulo in the Imereti region by a large margin, defeating closest rival from UNM with 1,245 votes to 598, respectively; the third candidate in the same race – from the Free Democrats party, led by Irakli Alasania – received 93 votes.
GDDG also defeated UNM’s candidate in the village of Metekhi in the race for a seat in Kaspi Sakrebulo in Shida Kertli region with 825 votes to 340, respectively; the third candidate in the same race from a little-known People’s Government party received 95 votes.
GDDG candidates won landslide in Gardabani’s two single-mandate constituencies in Kvemo Kartli region, as well as in the town of Ozurgeti and in one of the boroughs of Tbilisi’s Gldani district; either independent candidates or candidates from two small parties were standing in these races.
GDDG’s nominee was the only candidate running for a seat in Khobi Sakrebulo in Samegrelo region; the by-election there was held in the village of Kulevi, which has 244 voters.