Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said he expects GDDG ruling party, which he founded more than four years ago, will win about 100 or possibly even 115 seats in 150-member Parliament in the October 8 elections.
“If previously I said that Georgian Dream would have about 95 seats, now I would say that it will be average of 100 seats,” Ivanishvili said on September 1, adding that he would be less surprised if the ruling party wins 115 seats than in case of winning 90 seats. “Georgian Dream will have average of 100 MPs.”
He made the remarks while speaking in a televised interview with journalists from media outlets based in Adjara. It was the first in series of pre-election TV program, launched by GDS TV, owned by Ivanishvili’s son, Bera, during which the billionaire ex-PM will sit down for an interview twice a week with journalists in each of Georgia’s region.
Ivanishvili said the series of his TV appearances will aim at “helping those, who believe me, in analyzing processes.” In this process of “analysis”, he said, it will become clear why voters should support GDDG and why the party should win majority in the next Parliament.
He said that the United National Movement (UNM) and a 4-party election bloc led by opera singer Paata Burchuladze’s State for People party, which Ivanishvili described as UNM’s “wing”, are GDDG’s main competitors in the upcoming elections.
“Georgian Dream has no serious competitor,” Ivanishvili said.
“To my surprise, two wings of the [United] National Movement appear to be [GDDG’s] main rivals – the one, which unites [MP Giorgi] Vashadze, [MP Pavle] Kublashvili and which also includes Burchuladze, and another one – United National Movement itself,” Ivanishvili said, referring to Burchuladze-led election bloc, which unites NPC-Girchi and New Georgia, launched by former UNM members, as well as the New Rights Party.
Ivanishvili said that Burchuladze is “ruled” by UNM. “This is a typical UNM’s project,” he said.
Giorgi Rukhadze of the State for People party dismissed Ivanishvili’s remarks as “gossiping.”
“Georgian Dream has hard times now and Ivanishvili sees UNM everywhere and wants it [UNM] to remain its main rival for next four years. But both the Georgian Dream and UNM are the past… Georgian society will make its choice in favor of the future on October 8,” Rukhadze said.
UNM MP Sergo Ratiani said that “because of his panic fear, Ivanishvili sees the National Movement everywhere.”
In Georgia’s mixed electoral system 77 seats in 150-member Parliament are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among the parties and election blocs, which clear 5% threshold in nationwide popular vote.
Rest of the 73 MPs are elected in 73 single-member districts, known as “majoritarian” mandates; a majoritarian MP candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner in the first round, otherwise a second round should be held no later than 25 days after the first round.
Simultaneously with parliamentary elections, voters in Adjara Autonomous Republic will elect local legislative body, Supreme Council, on October 8.
Ivanishvili said that he expects GDDG to win 13-15 seats in 21-member Supreme Council of Adjara.