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A local leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party and four others have been shot near their local party headquarters in south-east Georgia.
Jeyhun Choydarov, a majoritarian candidate for Marneuli’s municipal council (sakrebulo), and four associates were wounded late at night on 19 October, at their headquarters in the village of Kizilajlo.
Four of the injured were rushed to hospital in Marneuli. According to a doctor at the hospital, all of them had suffered gunshot wounds, and two had to be operated on. Their condition is now stable. The other two had received less serious injuries to their limbs.
The fifth person was taken to another clinic and has already been released, according to the Georgian Public Broadcaster.
The identity of the attacker has not yet been confirmed. An investigation has been launched for ‘intentional serious damage to health’, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Reactions to the attack
‘Let us not consider this in an unequivocally political context. My request would be to remove the political background to this topic. Despite this, we are working on every scenario. Hopefully, we will have more information in the upcoming hours’, Rustavi2 TV quoted Interior Minister Giorgi Mghebrishvili, as saying.
Teimuraz Abazov, Georgian Dream’s mayoral candidate for Marneuli, said he did not know the motives for the attack.
Ana Natsvlishvili, head of local rights group the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, said it is of the ‘utmost importance that the motive of the attack is investigated impartially, perfectly, and swiftly’.
Georgians will head to polls on Saturday to elect 59 municipal and district heads (gamgebeli) and five mayors, along with 2,058 members of 64 local councils (sakrebulos).