TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili appeared full of confidence while meeting newspaper editors Thursday, vowing that his coalition, Georgian Dream, is going to win the presidential election.
Ivanishvili said he is sure that there won’t be a need for a second round.
During the question and answer session, the businessman who came to power one year ago was asked by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) about pressuring voters before the election.
The PM said he is sure ‘Georgian people are wise’ and they understand well what the new government have done during this one year, and that his coalition’s candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has momentum.
“In fact, a second round is quite unimaginable for me, but if it happens, it is a bit awkward,” he said. “If there is a second round, I would suggest Margvelashvili shouldn’t participate.”
He continued saying that if Margvelashvili receives less than 60 percent of the votes, he will be offended.
“I of course will continue my job, but I will have less enthusiasm, because 50.1 percent won’t be the same as more than 60 percent,” he said, calling on people to vote.
He then repeated that ‘if people are lazy’, the coalition may get 51-55 percent and he will be disappointed. He said he has ambitions to receive more than 65 percent of votes.
Nino Lomjaria, chairman of ISFED, an NGO working with election issues, responded on Thursday that Ivanishvili’s statements amount to pressure on voters because they urge people to finish the election in the first round.
Tamar Zhvania, head of the Central Election Commission, explained to journalists the same day that only one candidate can participate in the second round, but she isn’t familiar with any case when one of the candidates withdraws the candidacy before the second round.
She said that the second round is held when none of the candidates receive more than 50 percent of votes. In this case, the two candidates with the best results will go on to the second round.
If both withdraw their candidacy, a new election will be held.