Former Tbilisi Mayoral Candidate Starts New Party

Alexander (Aleko) Elisashvili presented his new public movement today to the media and to his supporters at the National Parliamentary Library in Tbilisi. The movement, called Civil Movement of Georgia, is an unofficial designation, but Elisashvili hopes to get enough support to turn it into a registered political party in the near future.

The most prominent members of the new movement are public health specialist Vato Surguladze and former head of Elisashvili's election headquarters Ivane Norakidze.

Elisashvili is a journalist and politician. He was a member of Tbilisi City Assembly and ran for mayor of Tbilisi in 2017, coming in second place after Kakha Kaladze but garnering significant popular support. When he announced his mayoral run, Elisashvili said that Georgia needs a real political force that will “take the country out of the its current climate,” and underlined that the new movement will not be merely on his views. "I do not agree with the parties’ dependant only on the decisions of one person,” he added.

At the presentation today, Elisashvili announced that “There was contact from Brussels, they were interested in learning more about the person who came second [in the October 2017 mayoral race] without money. My colleagues and I visited Brussels several times, a delegation came here from Brussels too, and we received support from the European Democracy Support Foundation. At this stage we will have branches in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi and we are working to open offices in other regions too. Why now? Because everybody sees that this country lacerates between two political forces. We are not starting with an established team, but on the contrary, we are starting to build a team. We are looking for people who meet two criteria - be qualified and honest. I do not care whether they are recognizable faces or not."

By Samantha Guthrie

07 December 2018 16:31