PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who chairs ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party, named on Wednesday some of the party’s MP candidates who will be running in the October 8 elections.
“I believe that along with the existing team, the Georgian Dream’s renewed team will win a convincing victory in the elections,” PM Kvirikashvili said without yet specifying how the newly named 15 candidates will be positioned in GDDG’s party list.
Candidates ranked higher on their respective party’s list of MP candidates have more chances of getting seat in the legislative body if that party clears 5% threshold in nationwide vote.
GDDG also has yet to name its majoritarian MP candidates in the single-mandate constituencies. 77 seats in 150-member Parliament are allocated under the proportional, party-list system, and remaining 73 seats go to majoritarian MPs elected in single-mandate constituencies.
While presenting 15 candidates, many of them western educated and most of them in their 30s, the PM said that this “renewed team” of GDDG will “give positive impetus not only to our party but also to the Georgian politics.”
Pointing to the fact that eight of 15 newly named candidates are female, the PM said that it was “not by chance”, but pursuant to gender equality.
The candidates include:
- Tamar Chugoshvili, who chaired Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association for two years till December, 2012, and was PM’s aide on human rights issues in 2013-2014;
- Archil Talakvadze, who is Deputy Interior Minister since December, 2014, served as deputy minister of the penitentiary system for about two years till late 2014;
- Tamar Khulordava, who has served as first deputy minister of penitentiary system since September, 2015;
- Giorgi Gakharia, who is a business ombudsman at the PM’s office since the GD coalition came into power in late 2012;
- Irakli Kobakhidze, GDDG’s executive secretary since early 2015;
- Sopho Japaridze, who is now PM’s assistant on human rights and gender equality issues;
- Mariam Jashi, former deputy healthcare minister, who now chairs state-run charity Solidarity Foundation;
- Sophio Kiladze, who joined GDDG’s decision-making body political council in May, served as deputy rector of the Police Academy;
- Sophiko Katsarava, who has served as a political officer at the British embassy in Tbilisi up until recently;
- Nino Goguadze, who was a member of the Central Election Commission for six years, is now a member of the Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo); she is a member of the Conservative Party, which has been in the Georgian Dream coalition; the Conservative Party will not run independently in the upcoming elections; some of its members will be incorporated into the GDDG’s party list and some of its leaders are expected to be named as majoritarian candidates in single-mandate constituencies with the backing from GDDG party;
- Kakha Kuchava, a corporate lawyer;
- Mamuka Mdinaradze, who was a practicing lawyer, joined GDDG’s political council in May;
- Roman Kakulia, member of GDDG’s political council since May, is head of the EU assistance coordination department at the State Ministry of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration;
- Akaki Zoidze, who joined GDDG’s political council, served as the deputy state minister in healthcare issues till November 2003;
- Irina Pruidze, who joined GDDG’s political council in May, was a chairperson at the Eurasia Regional Committee of the World Scout Movement; she was with the New Rights Party almost a decade ago.
When presenting the candidates at a house museum of a 19th century Georgian public figure, Ilia Chavchavadze, in Saguramo outside Tbilisi, PM Kvirikashvili said that the Georgian politics “needs new energy, new vision.”
“Today’s realities push for new agenda, new requirements and our party meets them with a renewed team and is ready to respond to all challenges,” he said and added that “fundamental changes” have been initiated over the past four years, which will become “tangible for each person quite soon.”
“We try not to talk much about our deeds, because people anyway see them,” he said.