Georgia: PM Bakhtadze Says Discussions Underway Over Presidential Candidate
(Civil.Ge) — Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said on August 21 that discussions over the presidential candidate are still underway in the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party.
Bakhtadze said that there are some in the ruling party, who consider the GDDG should have its own presidential candidate, while others believe that it might be better for the country’s democratic development if they do not join the presidential race.
The PM also reiterated his August 17 statement, saying the party would continue observing the developments, as well as the candidates registered for the polls, and make “a decision accordingly.”
On August 6, the GDDG leaders said the party would not field a candidate for the elections and would instead endorse an independent nominee. On the same day, an independent MP Salome Zurabishvili announced her candidacy, reportedly on GDDG’s tacit approval.
Zurabishvili, whose controversial August war remarks were met with cautious criticism from the GDDG, told reporters yesterday that discussions within the ruling party “are natural,” and that she would accept “whatever decision they make.”
On October 28, Georgian citizens will head to polls to elect their fifth president for a six-year term. This will be the last time that the head of state will be elected through direct ballot.