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19 Parties, 6 Blocs Run in Parliamentary Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Sep.'16 / 23:48

19 political parties and 6 blocs (coalition of several parties running in the elections on the joint ticket) are registered for the October 8 parliamentary elections.

Below is the list of 6 election blocs, which were registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC):

  • United National Movement (UNM) – an election bloc formed by the largest opposition party, which apart of UNM also includes little-known, small party European Georgia; depending on election results, running in elections in a bloc may give some privileges to a larger party in the bloc, like additional seat in CEC; UNM ran in 2014 local elections in a bloc with virtually unknown party - UNM party list of MP candidates;
  • Paata Burchuladze-State for People – an election bloc led by opera singer Paata Burchuladze’s State for People party, which initially also included: New Georgia, led by MP Giorgi Vashadze, who quit UNM party in May, 2016; New Rights Party, led by former MP Mamuka Katsitadze, and New Political Center-Girchi, led by MP Zurab Japaridze, who quit UNM party in May, 2015, but NPC-Girchi quit the coalition and pulled out of the election race on September 27; State for People party list of MP candidates;
  • Nino Burjanadze-Democratic Movement – an election bloc formed by former parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze’s United Democratic Movement party with small and little-known Democratic Movement-United Georgia party; Burjanadze’s party list of MP candidates;
  • Alliance of Patriots of Georgia-United Opposition – a 6-party election bloc which along with Alliance of Patriots also unites Free Georgia; Traditionalists; Freedom; New Christian-Democrats, and Political Movement of Law Enforcement and Armed Forces Veterans and Patriots; Alliance of Patriots’ party list of MP candidates;
  • Industrialists–Our Homeland – an election bloc formed by Industrialists party, led by MP Gogi Topadze, and Our Homeland, party which is led by Zviad Chitishvili, who has businesses in Russia and dual citizenship of Georgia and Russia; one of the pre-election promises of the Our Homeland party is distribution of Russian passports; bloc’s list of MP candidates;
  • Ours-People’s Party – an election bloc formed by two small, lesser-known parties: Ours and People’s Party;

Two parties – Neutral Georgia, led by pro-Russian Valeri Kvaratskhelia, and United Communist Party, were also seeking registration as a bloc, but were refused after CEC deregistered Neutral Georgia on August 30 on procedural grounds, citing that the party had no authorized chairman. 

Below is the list of 19 political parties, which are running in the elections independently, without forming blocs with other parties:

  • Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) – the ruling party founded by billionaire ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili; GDDG’s party list of MP candidates;
  • Free Democrats – founded and led by Irakli Alasania, who was defense minister in 2012-2014;Free Democrats’ party list of MP candidates;
  • Labor Party – led by Shalva Natelashvili; Labor Party’s list of MP candidates;
  • Republican Party – led by Davit Usupashvili, who is speaker of the outgoing parliament; Republican Party’s list of MP candidates;
  • National Forum – led by MP Gubaz Sanikidze; National Forum’s list of MP candidates;
  • For United Georgia – led by former member of GDDG ruling party, MP Tamaz Mechiauri, who although quit GDDG in late May after criticizing government’s declared policy of NATO integration, according to him, maintains links with ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, who founded GDDG party;
  • People’s Government – one of the leaders of the party is Levan Mamaladze, who lives in Russia and who was an influential governor of Kvemo Kartli region during Eduard Shevardnadze’s presidency; he fled to Russia after the 2003 Rose Revolution; 
  • For Georgia’s Peace – led by Davit Tevzadze, who was defense minister from 1998 to early 2004;
  • The Way of Zviad-In the Name of the Lord – led by Mikheil-Gela Saluashvili, who was running in 2013 presidential election in which he received 0.08% of votes;
  • Georgia;
  • Communist Party of Georgia-Stalinists;
  • United Communist Party 
  • Socialist Party of Workers;
  • Merab Kostava Society;
  • Georgian Idea;
  • Leftist Alliance – formed by former members of the Labor Party;
  • Our Georgia;
  • Kartuli Dasi (Georgian Assembly);
  • Progressive-Democratic Movement;

23 parties were either refused in registration or deregistered by the CEC – many of them on the grounds of failure to submit signatures of supporters; some parties decided to withdraw from the race. Similar to Neutral Georgia, CEC also de-registered pro-Russian party, Centrists, on the grounds that it had no authorized leadership.

In Georgia’s mixed electoral system 77 seats in 150-member Parliament are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among the parties and election blocs, which clear 5% threshold in nationwide popular vote.

Rest of the 73 MPs are elected in 73 single-member districts, known as “majoritarian” mandates; a majoritarian MP candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner in the first round, otherwise a second round should be held no later than 25 days after the first round.

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