TBILISI, DFWatch–54 persons are through the first hurdle in the upcoming presidential election in Georgia as the deadline to register as a candidate expired on Friday.

Among applicants are Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Georgian Dream coalition’s candidate, and Davit Bakradze, candidate for the National Movement. Both have already started the election campaign.

Those applicants who are not backed by a political party will need to present at least 26 530 signatures by September 17.

Six of the applications were rejected. Among them were former Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili. She is currently appealing the decision in the courts.

September 27, the Central Election Commission (CEC) will announce the final list of candidates.