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Irakli Petriashvili was elected President of the Georgian Trade Union Confederation (GTUC) for a fourth term on 14 September. He has held the office since 2005.
With the support of 139 delegates, Petriashvili beat the only other contender, head of the Georgian Trade Union of Energy Workers Amiran Zenaishvili, who received only 62 votes.
There were originally to be three candidates running, but the third, chairman of the Art Workers Trade Union Davit Okitashvili, withdrew from the race hours prior to the vote.
Okitashvili, who has faced accusations of being too close to the government, says his withdrawal proves that these allegations are false. He initially pledged to withdraw only if Petriashvili would do likewise.
‘In the morning, I said that Irakli Petriashvili would win this uneven battle. I couldn’t participate in this circus Petriashvili has set up’, Okitashvili said after the results were announced.
In an interview with Tbilisi-based Liberali magazine, Okitashvili said he decided to participate in the elections because he has seen footage of Petriashvili in close relations with criminals. He has pledged to sue Petriashvili, saying he will ‘either resign by himself or be arrested’.
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