The Movement for Liberty - European Georgia opposition party’s candidate for Tbilisi mayor announced on her Facebook page that she plans to live in all the major districts of the city in the two months before the local self-government elections in October.
Mayoral candidate Elene Khoshtaria is starting with Tbilisi’s Gldani district and is already living with a local woman who accepted to host her.
Khoshtaria says the aim of the initiative is to better know the problems residents have. Khoshtaria says she plans to spend several nights in each district at locals’ homes so that she can have a ‘long-term connection with them.’
“This decision was not easy. We had a big discussion about it in the party and I listened to many different opinions. However my main argument was that looking at the problems with the eyes of those people is more valuable than any PR stunt can ever bring,” Khoshtaria said.
Khoshtaria added that she wants “to live in all the problematic areas” of the city.
“Obviously this is part of the pre-election campaign, yet now I have no idea what this might bring to me in terms of elections. I do hope though that it will give me the trust of the people, which is the most important for me,” she said.
Khoshtaria is the only woman among the five candidates for Tbilisi mayor. She was a Member of the Parliament and previously served as First Deputy State Minister at the Office of the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration in 2007-2012.
In July, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili nominated then-Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze to be the ruling Georgian Dream party’s mayoral candidate for Tbilisi; the opposition United National Movement party nominated Rustavi 2 TV news anchor Zaal Udumashvili as their candidate; Tengo Shergelashvili is the candidate from the Development Movement party; and the final candidate is an independent, Aleko Elisashvili, who is a member of Tbilisi City Assembly.