GD presidential candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, said that refusal to continue race in case of a second round “is not a retreat”, on the contrary it means “going on the offensive” aimed at, as he put it, “fully activating our resources.”
“Saying no to the second round does not mean a retreat. We declare that we are winning in the first round. This statement is not a retreat; this is going on the offensive. We did it in order to fully activate our resources to demonstrate that this is not a game. In order to go on the offensive we have to mobilize our forces,” Margvelashvili said during a campaign meeting with a group of retired and active sportsmen on October 21.
PM Ivanishvili, who was the first who suggested on October 17 that Margvelashvili should withdraw from race if the October 27 presidential election goes into second round, touched upon the issue again during his interview with the Tbilisi-based Imedi TV, broadcast on October 21.
He said that his remarks on the issue were not pre-agreed with Margvelashvili. Ivanishvili also insisted again that the chance for the second round is so meager that it is not even worth of discussing it.
“Probability of second round is so meager that… I want to ask journalists not to waste time on this issue – there will be no second round; actually there is no probability of that. So I want to call on our supporters to turn out [at polling stations] and not to leave even that theoretical probability of [second round],” he said.
Citing GD-commissioned polls, Ivanishvili claimed that his coalition enjoys with 70% of support, but in order to translate this support in convincing election victory on October 27 there should be a high voter turnout.
He reiterated that the upcoming election will amount to confidence vote for his government. “We all need it [convincing victory] in order to ascertain that we are on the right path,” Ivanishvili said.
Ivanishvili also said that there is “high probability” that UNM presidential candidate, Davit Bakradze, will be on the second place, not Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party.
“All the polls – [commissioned] by us or by others, show that Bakradze is a runner-up,” Ivanishvili said.
He repeated again that victory with only slightly over 50% will dampen, although not disrupt completely, his enthusiasm to invest his time and resources to, what he calls, development of civil society in Georgia after his intended pre-term resignation from the post following the presidential election.
Ivanishvili again reiterated that if Margvelashvili garners less than half of the votes and race goes into the second round, it will mean that he’s “wrong” about thinking that he and his policies enjoy with broad public support.
“Yes I think that we are on the right path, but if theoretically we imagine that people do not think so… I will never impose myself onto anyone,” Ivanishvili said.
“In that case a huge burden will be removed from me and I’ll be able to spend rest of my time on tree planting – I love gardening very much,” he said.