Georgian Dream wins most seats in local elections
Based on preliminary results the ruling Georgian Dream has won the majority of seats in local elections which took place on Sunday.
Mayors for 12 cities, Gamgebeli (Chief Executive) in 59 municipalities and 71 Sakrebulos (local councils) were being contested on Sunday by 24 parties with around 3.5 million voters entitled to vote.
In the 2012 general election Georgian Dream was swept to power in the national parliament but the United National Movement (UNM) of former President Mikheil Saakashvili retained most seats in local government. For that reason this election was always going to be significant as mid-term elections.
Although Georgian Dream is ahead in most councils eight of the 12 city Mayor contests are expected to go to a second round. Around 13 of the 59 municipalities are also likely to go to a second round in two weeks’ time.
The result will be a disappointment for the UNM which had hoped to stage at least a partial comeback. However, a number of its losing candidates were very close to the Georgian Dream candidate vote tally and turnout was low at 43.31%.