Georgia’s Ruling Coalition Releases List of Election Candidates

TBILISI – The head of the Georgian Dream coalition and current Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, announced his party’s list of candidates set to run in the upcoming October 8 parliamentary elections.

Kvirikashvili named 15 new candidates who will take part in the parliamentary elections.
Of note is the fact that eight from 15 are Western educated, and several accomplished women in their 30s.

After publicly presenting the new candidates, Kvirikashvili said that it is critical for Georgian politics “to have new energy, a new vision.”

“Today’s realities push for a new agenda, new requirements…and our party meets these challenges with a renewed team that is ready to respond to every challenge,” said Kvirikashvili.

“I believe that along with the existing team, the Georgian Dream’s newest members will win a convincing victory in the elections,” Kvirikashvili said without specifying how the newly named candidates would be positioned in Georgian Dream’s party list.

Candidates ranked higher on their respective party’s list of MP candidates have more chances of getting a seat in the legislative body if that party clears the 5 per cent threshold in a nationwide vote.

The Georgian Dream has yet to name its MP candidates in single-mandate constituencies.

Under the constitution, the Georgian Parliament’s 150 members serve four-year terms, with 77 seats set by proportional representation and 73 in single-seat constituencies.

The ruling Georgian Dream coalition dominates the current parliament with 85 seats.

The coalition - founded by Georgia’s eccentric billionaire oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili - swept to power following a major prison scandal in 2012.
Comprised of six independent parties, it won the parliamentary elections four years ago and unseated pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) in the process.

The Georgian Dreams’ candidates for the October elections are:

  • Nino Goguadze – A member of Georgia’s Central Election Commission, recently a member of the Tbilisi City Council she is a member of the Conservative Party, which has been in the Georgian Dream coalition;

  • Tamar Chugoshvili – Head of a Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association in 2010-2012;

  • Tamar Khulordava – First deputy minister of the penitentiary system since September 2015;

  • Sophio Kiladze – Former deputy rector of the Police Academy;

  • Archil Talakvadze – Deputy Interior Minister since December 2014;

  • Giorgi Gakharia – Business ombudsman at the PM’s office since the GD coalition came into power in late 2012;

  • Irakli Kobakhidze – The coalition’s executive secretary since early 2015;

  • Sopho Japaridze – An Essex University graduate, PM’s assistant on human rights and gender equality issues;

  • Mariam Jashi – Former deputy healthcare minister, who now chairs state-run charity Solidarity Foundation; A Harvard University graduate, a holder of Kennedy School of Government master’s degree in public administration;

  • Irina Pruidze – A chairwoman at the Eurasia Regional Committee of the World Scout Movement; she was with the New Rights Party almost a decade ago.

  • Sophiko Katsarava – Former political officer at the British embassy in Tbilisi;

  • Kakha Kuchava – Legal scholar, Nottingham University graduate and corporate law master’s degree holder. Currently a corporate lawyer;

  • Mamuka Mdinaradze – a practicing lawyer;

  • Roman Kakulia – Head of the EU assistance coordination department at the State Ministry of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration;

  • Akaki Zoidze – Columbia University graduate specializing in governance with seven years of experience in public service. He served as deputy state minister in healthcare;
14 July 2016 10:23