Tbilisi is the only city in Georgia where mayor is elected through direct vote.
Mayors of four other major cities – Kutaisi, Rustavi, Batumi and Poti – are elected by the local municipal Councils. The same rule was applied for Tbilisi as well, but it was changed as a result of amendments to the election code in December, 2009.
In other provincial municipalities, a head of district (Gamgebeli as it is called in Georgian) is appointed through the approval of local Councils.
There are nine candidates running for the Tbilisi mayoral office:
- Gigi Ugulava, an incumbent Tbilisi mayor, nominated by the ruling party;
- Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia;
- Giorgi Chanturia, nominated by Christian-Democratic Movement;
- Gogi Topadze, leader of Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists);
- Zviad Dzidziguri, leader of Conservative Party, nominated by a coalition, which also includes Party of People and ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli’s Movement for Fair Georgia;
- Davit Iakobidze, nominated by Democratic Party of Georgia;
- Nika Ivanishvili, head nominated by his newly established party Popular Democrats;
- Tamaz Vashadze, nominated by Solidarity party;
- Giorgi Lagidze, leader of Future Georgia party.
A candidate, who receives more votes than others, but no less than 30% will be declared winner. If no one clears the 30% threshold, a run off will take place within a month between the two candidates who garner the highest number of votes.