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Georgian Opposition Meets To Discuss United Mayoral Candidate

Some opposition members are reportedly upset that former Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli met recently with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
TBILISI -- Georgian opposition parties and their supporters have met in an attempt to pick a joint opposition candidate for the upcoming mayoral election in Tbilisi, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Party representatives agreed with Our Georgia--Free Democrats party leader Irakli Alasania at the meeting on February 25 to unite opposition efforts for the May election.

Alasania said he hopes the opposition can field a single mayoral candidate for the election.

Conservative Party leader and potential mayoral candidate Zviad Dzidziguri said in a speech at the meeting that he supports the idea of the opposition holding a primary election to determine who should serve its united candidate.

But former Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli, also a Conservative Party member, promoted the idea of opposition parties coming to a consensus on who should be the candidate.

Nogaideli claimed that such a consensus has already been reached on a united candidate and said it is important to determine "which mechanisms will be used to [formally] nominate the candidate." He did not name the person he thought was a consensus candidate.

Observers said the naming of a single opposition candidate is hampered by the cooperation between Nogaideli and Alasania because members of the opposition Republican party and New Rights Party of Georgia refuse to communicate with Nogaideli after a recent meeting he had with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

People's Party leader Koba Davitashvili appealed at the meeting for the representatives of the parties that have not joined the informal opposition alliance to do so.

The current mayor of Tbilisi is Giorgi Ugulava, a member of pro-presidential National Movement-The List Of Unification And Revival Of Georgia.