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United National Movement demands the initiation of early parliamentary elections

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 7
The opposition party, United National Movement (UNM), is demanding the scheduling of early parliamentary elections, and has started negotiations with other political parties regarding the issue.

The UNM protesters called on other opposition forces to launch consultations for “large-scale” street protest rallies “to put an end” to the current government and to hold early parliamentary elections.

The party leaders made the mentioned statements at a protest rally in front of the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's residence on October 5, where the party members were protesting the pretrial detention ordered by the Kutaisi City Court for three UNM activists who abused the Georgian Dream (GD) MP, Davit Lortkipanidze, verbally and physically during a demonstration of the UNM, held outside the Parliament building in Kutaisi on October 2.

The authorities have been accused by the opposition of selective application of justice, as in similar incidents against UNM perpetrators “were either not detained or just fined”.

“All the political forces, which are not in Ivanishvili’s pocket, should get together to demand early elections,” stated Giga Bokeria, a UNM member at the rally.

“We demand that Bidzina Ivanishvili cease controlling the government from behind the scenes and initiate early parliamentary elections,” said Gigi Tsereteli, one of the leaders of the UNM.

MP Sergo Ratiani, the executive secretary of the UNM, told supporters at the rally: “We are launching consultations with all the political forces in order to hold large-scale protest rallies, in order to sack this government and to hold early parliamentary elections.”

The leader of the Democratic Movement United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze commented on the UNM proposal to start consultations and demand early parliamentary elections.

As the party’s press service says, they are not going to negotiate with the UNM or take any action.

“We are not going to cooperate with the United National Movement party; we are going to get rid of them and the Georgian Dream forever,” the statement reads.

Other political parties have not responded to the UNM proposal yet.

Then UNM held three major street protest rallies in Tbilisi since Georgian Dream coalition came into government – the first one in April, 2013; then in November, 2014 and March, 2015.