Incumbent Tbilisi Mayor, running for reelection, Kakha Kaladze and the ruling Georgian Dream party have addressed the public to “put an end” to the United National Movement, the largest opposition party.
Kaladze, headed to the Tbilisi mayoral runoff against runner-up Nika Melia of UNM, urged the citizens to participate in the second rounds in the 20 municipalities. “Come to the elections so that we may put an end to the Bolshevism, the evil, the hatred, and the lies that are embodied by the United National Movement in this country once and for all!”
The Tbilisi Mayor dubbed the UNM administration era a “dark past of our country and our city.” He reminded the public of “violations of citizens’ dignity, the violence, the terror, the seizure of property, the murder of innocent young people, the trampling of the freedom of speech, the crackdown on the media, the cynicism, the lies, and the racketeering that used to take place.”
The Georgian Dream candidate claimed the campaign of his rival, Nika Melia, “was aimed at overthrowing the government, stirring up unrest, and the so-called referendum.” Melia “has done nothing for the country and the city other than bankrupting private companies, trying to break into state buildings, and constantly staging hooligan provocations,” he argued.
Incumbent Kaladze noted that his campaign has been aimed at offering a “sophisticated and well-thought-out city development plan,” instead of targetting his opponent’s shortcomings and flaws.
“Tbilisi and Georgia do not need revenge and chaos – they need progress and peace,” he stressed, and went on to express confidence that “progress and stability will prevail” in October 30 runoffs.
Also on October 18, the Georgian Dream published a video collage containing seemingly embarrassing footage of Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidential tenure, as well as a clip of UNM-era Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava addressing a rally.
Nika Melia, the contender for the Tbilisi Mayor, featured in the video as well, in footage of the June 19-20 anti-occupation demonstration outside the Parliament building.
The video’s caption said “Being a Natsi [a derogatory term for UNM] is shameful. Let us end Natsis!”