Republican MP-elect splits with party, says he will sit in parliament
By Shorena Labadze
Thursday, May 22Newly-elected majoritarian MP Roman Marsagishvili, who ran on the Republican ticket in Kazbegi district, said on May 24 that he would break with the party by sitting in parliament when its first session convenes rather than boycotting.
“The people have chosen me, and they are eager to see something changed and done. I am simply an executor of the people’s will,” Marsagishvili said.
Marsagishvili said he is looking forward to defending his people’s interests in parliament.
Leading Republican Davit Zurabishvili criticized the move, but said the party cannot intervene as Marsagishvili is not a party member.
“Our evaluation of this incident is extremely negative,” he said.
Asked whether he would consult with party leaders, Marsagishvili said would decide after meeting party members.
“I’ll wait and behave according to the development of the events, and then reach a final decision,” he said.
Marsagishvili’s statement came as a surprise, just days after Republican leader Davit Usupashvili called on opposition parties to boycott parliament.
“Of course, it makes no sense [to attend parliamentary sessions],” Usupashvili, who was not elected MP, said on a late night Rustavi 2 talk show.
“While the leading party has more than 100 representatives in parliament, what [does it matter if] the opposition is represented by only a few members? All the bills being put to a vote will be accepted according to the will of the majority,” he said.
The Republican Party took less than four percent of the vote in last week’s election, falling short of the threshold for parliamentary representation. Two of their candidates won in single-representative districts: Marsagishvili in Kazbegi, and Karlo Kopaliani in Tsageri.