At a campaign rally in Kutaisi on June 10, leader of Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, named six majoritarian MP candidates who will be running in Imereti region’s six out of total twelve single-mandate constituencies.
Gubaz Sanikidze, one of the leaders of National Forum – one of the parties within the Georgian Dream coalition will run in Kutaisi, which is Georgia’s second largest city and one of the largest single-mandate constituencies.
Kakha Kaladze, a retired footballer, who was a captain of the Georgian national team and who won the Champions League on two occasions with AC Milan, will run in his native town of Samtredia.
Eliso Chapidze, a former journalist who edited daily Rezonansi before joining Ivanishvili’s party, will run in the coal-mining town of Tkibuli.
An actor Gogi Kavtaradze was nominated as a majoritarian MP candidate in Zestaponi.
A lawyer Archil Kbilashvili from Ivanishvili’s party, Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, will run in Bagdati.
Nodar Ebanoidze of the Republican Party, part of the Georgian Dream coalition, will run in Kharagauli.
Georgia has a mixed system in which 73 lawmakers out of 150 will be elected in 73 single-mandate constituencies and rest 77 seats will be allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties and election blocs, which will clear 5% threshold.
Under this system, wherein a majoritarian MP is elected through winner-takes-all rule (but a candidate should garner at least 30% of votes), the ruling party endorsed its candidates in 71 out of 75 single-mandate constituencies, that existed during the 2008 parliamentary elections. At the time opposition candidates won the race in the Tbilisi’s two constituencies (both won by the New Rights Party candidates), as well as in Tsageri (where the ruling party had no candidate) and Kazbegi constituencies. Unlike previous elections in 2008, in the upcoming polls independent candidates will also be eligible to run.
Different number of votes required to elect a deputy in different electoral districts is one of the shortcomings of the system noted by local and international observers. The Venice Commission, has long been recommending Georgia to secure equality of vote through establishing approximately equal sized single-mandate, majoritarian constituencies. The commission said wide disparity between the constituencies - ranging from about 6,000 voters in the smallest constituency to over 150,000 voters in the largest one – “undermines the principle of equality of suffrage.”