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Independent Candidate Zourabichvili Wins in Mtatsminda

By a 67.58% to 32.42% margin, independent candidate Salome Zourabichvili won the second round of Parliament elections in Mtatsminda  #1 district.

 On Sunday the second round  was  held in 50 districts of Georgia where no candidates could pass the 50% barrier in the first round.
 In 48 districts out of 50, the ruling Georgian Dream party won the second round of elections. Only in Khashuri, where the Georgian Dream candidate was defeated by Industrial Party’s candidate, and in Mtatsminda, where they had no candidate at all and Zourabichvili defeated Nika Rurua, the candidate from United National Movement, will Georgian Dream not hold the seat.
 53 independent candidates  participated in the first round of parliamentary  and Zourabichvili got the highest percentage of votes among them.  
 Newscafe reporters saw voters who had some problems because of marking procedures in District 1 of Mtatsminda. Some of the voters couldn’t vote because, as they said,. the marking apparatus perceived nail polish and balsam as the chemical used to show that people had already voted, so the commission didn’t allow them to vote.
 In the first round of parliamentary elections, Rurua was defeated by  independent candidate Zourabichvili, who was  supported by  Georgian Dream. Zourabichvili got 44.2% of votes, while  Rurua collected 26.92 %.
 Before the elections, the ruling party decided to support Zourabichvili in Mtatsminda district and not compete against her. Mtatsminda is the only district where the governing party had no candidate.Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Zourabichvili’s presence in the Parliament is  important, and therefore the Georgian Dream made a unique  decision.
Rurua accused Zourabichvili of electoral fraud in the first round of elections and says he plans to file a lawsuit against her. “Almost 8 000  people are added to the voters’ list in 2016. These people don’t live in Mtatsminda. Some of them are abroad for 10, 15 or even 30 years and some of them died two or more years ago," Rurua said.
 Interviewing 30 people, Newscafe found some of them voted for Zourabichvili because of her origin and ancestors and even because of the candidate’s taste. For some of them Nika Rurua turned out to be handsome and intelligent man, so they supported him as the majoritarian candidate of their district.
 Lasha Qurdashvili, 25,  wants to give opportunity National Movement to continue their reforms:“I voted for Nika Rurua because I liked National Movement’s government during nine years and I want to give them opportunity to continue. I don’t trust Salome and I think she will do nothing for Mtatsminda.”Nino Esitashvili, 31, chose Zourabichvili as she supports gender equality in parliament:“I voted for Salome Zourabichvili because she is a woman and I’m a woman, and besides that she is very subtle and tasteful person. She lived in Europe and her ancestors are from Georgia.”  Tsitsino Ositashvili, 65 years old, follows her priest’s advice:

“I voted for Georgian Dream.

When we reminded her that Georgian Dream had no candidate in Mtatsminda, she continued:

“Sorry, I voted for Salome Zourabichvili. I chose her because I trust her and she is very objective person. Her ancestors sacrificed their lives to Georgia, They brought up Salome, thus I’m sure she can’t be bad person. I want to live in Christian country. I’m coming directly from church, the priest told us to come, vote and make objective decision.”

Raia Mikaeliani, 82,  is very confident in her decision:

“I voted without any hesitation  for Nika Rurua. I have read his election program and I like it very much, I even have his poster in my room.”


According to Central Election Administration of Georgia, 17,095 (38.99%)  people  voted out of 43,847 registered in Mtatsminda District.