Ex-Defence Minister plans to run for Gori Mayor

Okruashvili returned to Georgia in 2012 after spending five years in France.
Agenda.ge, 17 Apr 2014 - 16:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili is planning to run for Mayor in the upcoming self-government elections and represent the town of Gori, in his native Shida Kartli region. 

A statement released by the ex-Defence Minister’s press office said Okruashvili today had applied for registration as the Mayoral candidate to the Central Election Commission’s Shida Kartli branch, the body in charge of organising the June 15 elections in Georgia.

In the next two days, the Commission will release its final decision whether to accept or decline Okruashvili’s registration as a candidate.

Meanwhile Okruashvili’s lawyer, Zviad Kordzadze, said his client’s bid to run for the Mayoral office would not face legal hurdles as he met the two-year residency requirement.

"Okruashvili had been living in Georgia since 2012 [and] that’s why I believe there will be no problems regarding his registration,” Kordadze said to 1 TV via a phone interview.

Okruashvili returned to Georgia in 2012 after spending five years in France. 

The ex-Minister announced he would return to politics after five years asylum in France and compete in the Mayoral elections in Gori last March, while speaking on Imedi TV’s political talk show Reaction.

Okruashvili was one of the closes allies of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and was the country’s Defence Minister for two years, from 2004 to 2006, before he was dismissed.

In 2007 he made a scandalous comeback to politics and openly confronted Saakashvili and his government.

That same year Okruashvili was briefly arrested at his party headquarters on charges of corruption, money laundering and abuse of office.

In 2007 he left Georgia and was granted political asylum in France. He returned to Georgia on November 20, 2012.

After his return some of the charges against him were dropped and he was cleared of other charges by the Georgian court in January 2013.