The Georgian Dream Party, in power in Georgia, won the second round of municipal elections according to official results, announced on Sunday (October 31). These were immediately labeled as fraudulent and rejected by the opposition, which called on its supporters to demonstrate.
The second round of elections took place on Saturday in some municipalities of this former Soviet republic, especially in large cities. Georgian Dream narrowly won these elections in 19 out of 20 municipalities where its candidates faced those of the United National Movement (MNU), the Central Election Commission announced on Sunday. “I congratulate everyone on our victory in the second round, we won all the cities”Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on television.
“There are no more elections in this country”
The MNU was created in 2001 by Mikheïl Saakashvili, who then became pro-Western president of this Caucasian country from 2004 to 2013. Having gone into exile even before the end of his second term, he returned to Georgia just before the first round of elections. 2021 elections. Immediately imprisoned, he immediately began a hunger strike, still in progress, to protest against his imprisonment, according to him purely political. He has since been considered the leader of the opposition even though he does not hold any position in the MNU or in other formations.
The imprisonment of Mr. Saakashvili has further aggravated the political crisis which began with the legislative elections of last year, won very closely by the Georgian Dream and considered fraudulent by the opposition. The pattern was repeated this year: the government claimed victory after the first round of municipal elections, on October 2, while the opposition was already talking about fraud – accusations relayed in particular by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose observers reported« intimidation, [d’]vote buying and [de] pressure on candidates and voters ”.
MNU leader Nika Melia assured on Sunday that the opposition would not recognize the results, accusing the Georgian Dream of having “Stole the elections”. “There are no more elections in this country. Compatriots, you who share the values of European democracy, prepare for a struggle without compromise ”, he said. According to him, this struggle ” hard “ will continue “Until there is a possibility of holding free and fair elections in this country”.
In the evening, opposition leaders addressed some 1,500 supporters who gathered outside Parliament, announcing that they would travel across the country in the coming days to mobilize people against the government.
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Georgian Dream wins municipal elections in Georgia, opposition reiterates fraud accusations