At an extraordinary party congress in Mtskheta on 14 September, the Free Democrats of Georgia elected Tamar Kekenadze as its new leader and nominated the first of its candidates ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in October.
Ms Kekenadze, formerly Secretary General, was elected leader following the departure of former leader Shalva Shavgulidze last month.
The party also nominated their candidates in four majoritarian constituencies, including two in Tbilisi (Vitali Daraselia and Eduard Eloshvili) and two in regional constituencies (Davit Chuniashvili - Gurjaani, Sagarejo, Sighnaghi, Dedoplistskaro, and Vakhtang Martolek - Mtskheta, Dusheti, Tianeti, Kazbegi).
Speaking at the Congress, Ms Kekenadze, said: “Today, we Free Democrats again face a difficult challenge and choice – abolish the party, and continue a peaceful and carefree life, or stand together again and to prove everyone, first of all to ourselves, that while you're alive you can always overcome any difficulty and start over. The most important thing is to believe that you, us, together with all our fellow people, can make a positive change for the street, village or city you live in.”
As leader, she outlined two priorities: turning the party into a platform where each member will have the opportunity to develop, be heard and to implement ideas, and to restore support and trust in the party.
“The Free Democrats are going to the elections independently in 2020. This is the decision that the whole team, members of Free Democrats made together. You won't be surprised if I tell you that today our ambition is not to be able to change the Georgian Dream government on our own, but our ambition is to work with the pro-Western forces and play an important role in contributing to return the hope of European future to our citizens.”
“We will become a parliamentary party and you will have your voice and representative in parliament,” she concluded.
The Parliamentary elections in Georgia will take place on 31 October.
Re-watch the congress here
Photo credit: Free Democrats (Facebook)