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Parliament Election Date Officially Set for October 8
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Jun.'16 / 22:56

Presidential decree, setting October 8 as date of the parliamentary elections, was posted on the state online registry of legal acts on Wednesday after it was countersigned by the Prime Minister.

Elections of the local legislative body in the Adjara Autonomous Republic, Supreme Council, will also be held on the same day, October 8.

Enactment of the decree means a formal launch of electoral campaign from June 8; according to the election code, it implies that from this date range of electoral regulations are enacted – among them tightening use of administrative resources.

Although the election date was first announced by President Giorgi Margvelashvili in early April, the date of official launch of electoral campaign had remained unclear up until early May.

On April 6 the President signed a decree setting October 8 as the election date and sent it to PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili for approval, or as it is called “countersignature”. The decree was specifying that it would have been enacted from August 8, which would have been the date for the formal launch of electoral campaign. But legal experts and election monitoring groups pointed out that the decree was legally flawed, because the law requires for such presidential decrees to be enacted upon publication immediately after PM’s countersignature, which would have implied launch of campaign in April.

As a result the PM refused to sign the decree and asked the President to issue new one by July 8. But the President offered to set early May as the launch of election campaign. In early May the two agreed on June 8 as the date for the formal launch of the campaign.

“Elections are four months away – this is a very important period, which we should pass in dignity and prove once again that we are capable of not only maintaining the high democratic standards we observed in [2013] presidential and [2014] local elections, but of improving them,” PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who chairs the ruling GDDG party, said on June 8 when naming energy minister and secretary general of the party, Kakha Kaladze as chief of the campaign of GDDG.

“Our goal is not to turn competition into confrontation,” he added.

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