Nino Burjanadze, whose coalition of several non-parliamentary opposition parties has the third best result in the June 15 local elections, called on her supporters to vote neither for GD ruling coalition nor for UNM in those districts where second round runoffs will be held between the candidates of these two political forces.
Burjanadze-led coalition United Opposition’s nationwide party-list vote result stands at 10.23% - almost the same as Burjanadze’s result when she was a presidential candidate in election eight months ago. In the local elections Burjanadze herself was not running for any post or Sakrebulo seat; Tbilisi mayoral candidate, nominated by the United Opposition, Dimitri Lortkipanidze, garnered 12.82%.
United Opposition won majoritarian seats in 28 single-mandate constituencies out of total 1,049 across the country and cleared 4% threshold, required for endorsing members in Sakrebulos in party-list proportional contest, in 66 districts. United Opposition was not participating in party-list race in one municipality – Gardabani.
In Tbilisi Sakrebulo the United Opposition is likely to take 3 seats all obtained through party-list proportional system after receiving 10.35% of votes.
Burjanadze’ coalition failed to clear threshold only in four municipalities; as a result it won’t have party-list proportional representation in Sakrebulos of following municipalities: Zugdidi, Dedoplistskaro, Akhaltsikhe and Ninotsminda.
Out of 13 municipalities where second round runoffs for gamgebeli posts will be held, candidates from Burjanadze’s coalition will face GD’s candidates in four municipalities – Martvili, Tkibuli, Akhmeta and Tianeti.
Speaking about local elections in Rustavi 2 TV’s talk show late on June 17, Burjanadze slammed Georgian Dream ruling coalition for pursuing as she put it “harmful” policies that caused “survival” of former ruling UNM party. She said that although election results were “manipulated” in many cases “jointly” and through “concerted” efforts of GD and UNM, her coalition asserted itself as a “growing” political force.
“Regrettably it was a victory for the United National Movement for whom the second place is really incredible result,” Burjanadze said.
“UNM was struggling for survival and it succeeded very well because of Georgian Dream,” she said and added that not only did UNM “survived”, but it is even “threatening” with street protest rallies – a reference to remarks by UNM MP Nugzar Tsiklauri who suggested that government’s policies and its failure to deliver with its promises may result into street protests in autumn.
“Regrettably the ruling coalition has done everything in order to reinvigorate the UNM, which was disappearing off the [political] radar following the 2012 parliamentary elections,” she said.
“If the authorities continue this way, there is a high probability that the [Georgian] Dream itself may disappear from the political scene and the National Movement may return back to government,” Burjanadze said.
She said that instead of portraying, as she put it, “failure” of the GD in the local elections as a success, PM and leader of GD coalition Irakli Garibashvili should make “adequate assessments” and look into activities of some of the coalition member parties – she particularly pointed at the Republican Party by citing parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili, who said in April, 2013 a year ago that “survival” of former ruling party, UNM, “is the task of the Georgian democracy.”
She also said that by doing so those interested in UNM’s “survival” are also trying “to score political points from certain circles in the West” – a similar notion is also argued by the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, party which has the forth best result in the June 15 local elections, and whose political platform is mostly similar on many key issues with the one of Burjanadze.