The Candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, Davit Narmania, has been elected Mayor of Tbilisi in the second round of local government elections held in Georgia on Saturday (12 July).
Narmania secured 72.47% of the vote, whilst his opponent, Nika Melia of the United National Movement, got 27.53% of the vote. The result was mirrored in other constituencies where a second round of voting was taking place, which were all won by Georgian Dream Candidates. The ruling Coalition that has held the government in Georgia since 2012 now controls all the local government councils in the country, and all leverls of government from the Presidency to the Sakrebulos. 617, 451 voters, 36% of the electorate participated in the election. In Tbilisi, the voter turnout was 34,3% (316, 014 voters). In the first round of the local government elections on June 15 voter turnout was 43.31% nation-wide, and 37.3% in Tbilisi.
Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that "this latest poll seals the Georgian Dream's dominance on all leverls of government in the country, a process that has been going on since it swept to power in parliamentary elections in October 2012. The result also confirms that the United National Movement of former President Mikehil Saakashvili, remains very much a minority party. The UNM however has not imploded, as some had expected it to do. It remains a significant political force in the country however its support continues to hover below 30% of the electorate. It has a long way to go to catch up with its political rivals. The Party needs to rethink deep and hard about its future strategy before it will be able to present a serious challenge for power.
For the moment however the responsability of government is fully and squarely on the shoulders of the GD Coalition. There is a danger that in the new situation of total dominance of the political spectrum, the fractures within the GD coalition will become more acute. This must not however distract the government from its duties and responsibilities. Georgia has many serious challenges ahead, especially in the economic sphere. With the elections now behind it, and emboldened by the recently signed Association Agreement with the European Union, all the energy of the GD government led by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili must focus on tackling these challenges. The Georgian people expect no less."
photo: Old Tbilisi Municipality Building on Freedom Square (archive picture).
"As expected the declaration from the 5th Eastern Partnership summit did not change in any significant way the approach of the EU to the eastern neighbourhood. However the declaration has something for everybody, and there are interesting nuances in the text that can form the basis in the future for the next steps in the EU's engagement with the region", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment.
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.