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MPs leave parliament and City Council

By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, February 7
Deputy of the Kvareli region and United National Movement (UNM) member Marika Verulashvili has left the party. Verulashvili has not yet made any official comments about her decision. However, Irina Imerlishvili, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Procedural Issues said the announcement was dated February 4.

Verulashvili’s step caused confrontation among the politicians. UNM members mainly think the reason that made their former team member to leave the UNM was the political pressure on behalf of the Georgian Dream.

UNM MP Goka Gabashvili said the pressure continued on Verulashvili for over a month. Worried that Verulashvili could not handle the pressure, Gabashvili thinks this way she saved the immunity of her husband, his business and guaranteed her husband's freedom.

However, the prosecutor’s office said neither Verulashvili nor her family members were connected with any case.

President Mikheil Saakashvili recently said that the Georgian Dream forced Verulashvili to leave the parliamentary minority and support the constitutional changes during the parliamentary discussions.

Georgian Dream representatives did not find Verulashvili’s decision unexpected. Levan Berdzenishvili said it is exactly the UNM that often maintained the deputies by pressure. Berdzenishvili assumed that pressure is not used for forcing someone to leave the party but rather to keep them.

Verulashvili is the 10th MP to leave the party since October 1st.

Meanwhile Zaza Sinauridze is among the UNM members who recently left the Tbilisi City Council. He explained to the media that he is going abroad to continue his medical activities thus will not cooperate with any political party.

Two council members of Christian Democratic Movement (CDM) Zaza Gabunia and Jaba Samushia also left the CDM.

Former CDM member, Zaza Gabunia said he made the decision to leave the party earlier in September, but refrained from making such a step during the election campaign. Although Gabunia did not exclude collaboration with other political parties he said his decision was not motivated by any political party’s offer.

Gabunia and Samushia will announce their political plans in the near future. However, CDM leader Giorgi Targamadze said his two former team members are going to participate in the formation of a new majority in the City Council. Currently, the UNM is in majority at City Council while Giorgi Muskhelishvili, from the City Council faction of the Georgian Dream – Tbilisi announced that a new majority may be created in the near future. However, this process needs 7-8 more members.

His fellow MP Guliko Zumbadze, said although the issue about selecting the new head of City Council has not yet been discussed, Jaba Samushia may be one of the candidates for this position.