23 March 2019, 19:34
Opposition nominates Saakashvili's wife as Zugdidi Mayor
Sandra Roelofs, the wife of the third Georgian president, will run for the Mayor of the city of Zugdidi at the interim election on May 19. Ms Roelofs has great chances to win, although the struggle at the Zugdidi election will be tough, political analysts believe.
Mayor of Zugdidi, Lasha Gogiya, resigned in September 2018 after a bribe-taking case was opened against him.
Sandra Roelofs has chances to win, as locals treat her with sympathy, and she herself speaks the Megrelian language and uses it to communicate with voters. At the election, Ms Roelofs will be the main opponent of the candidate from the "Georgian Dream" Party, the political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" have suggested.
"If Roelofs wins, she will spoil the life of the ruling "Georgian Dream-Democratic Movement" Party. As Mayor, she will have enough leverage to influence the situation," said Zaal Andjaparidze, the programme coordinator at the International Centre for Conflicts and Negotiations.
Ms Roelofs has extensive experience in conducting PR campaigns, while the "Georgian Dream" has lost the voters' trust in Zugdidi, when the municipality head was caught bribing, the analyst has noted.
Nika Chitadze, the head of the Centre for Security and International Relation Studies, has noted that Roelofs has personal qualities that are attractive to voters – responsibility and diligence.
Sandra Roelofs is a member of the executive committee of the Global Fund and the president of the SOCO charity foundation.
Author: Inna Kukudjanova, Galina Gotua; Source: CK correspondents