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No Georgian Dream coalition for new parliamentary race

By Messenger Staff
Monday, April 4
The Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party says it will take part in the upcoming October elections independently, separate from the other political parties of the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition created prior to the 2012 parliamentary race, when GD replaced the nine-year rule of the United National Movement (UNM) party.

The statement of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili came after the decision of one of the parties of the GD coalition, the Republicans, last week with the reason to end the ‘inter-coalition confrontations’ and not to create any awkwardness for the GD party which now wishes to participate in the elections independently.

The head of the GD party, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said those who hold senior positions in the Cabinet or other state bodies would retain their posts until the elections for stability to be ensured in the country.

It was also announced that the parliamentary majority will not split before the race.

The GD coalition was initially formed by ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili prior to the 2012 elections, who is frequently labeled as the ‘unofficial ruler’ of the country by the opposition and the civil sector.

It was stated from the very beginning that the coalition was composed of parties with quite different approaches but their unity was necessary that time in order to defeat the UNM.

At that time, the GD coalition was composed of the Georgian Dream party, the Republicans, the Free Democrats, the Conservatives, the People’s Party, the National Forum and the Industrials.

The People’s party was the first faction to quit the coalition in 2013, as it had ‘different viewpoints’.

In 2014 the Free Democrats followed suit in the wake of the scandal related to ex-Defence Minister and party leader Irakli Alasania, after a number of MoD employees were detained for allegedly misspending budgetary funds.

Alasania stated it was a black PR stunt against him as he was striving towards Georgia’s rapid integration into NATO. He accused Ivanishvili of being behind the campaign against him and said that Georgia’s European course was at risk.

Currently, the GD party occupies 44 seats in Parliament, the Republicans have eight, while the Conservatives, National Forum and Industrials all have six.

Prior to the Republicans’ statement, a confrontation emerged between the Republicans and the Industrials, when the head of Industrials, Gogi Topadze, accused Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli - a representative of the Republicans - of rigging by-elections in one of Georgia's regions.

No violations of the electoral code were detected by a subsequent investigation.

Khidasheli said during the confrontation that the Republicans would stand strong, and unlike the Free Democrats they will not quit either the coalition or any senior posts.

However, they will still quit the coalition prior to the elections. The National Forum and the Industrials have not yet announced their intentions, while the Conservatives still wish to be with the GD party.

According to the current polls, none of individual parties enjoy high ratings. It will be difficult for former members of the coalition to win seats in the legislative body independently.

The GD party will have to make realistic offers and produce a completely renewed team to achieve some success, as many of its current members have incurred irritation amongst the public.

There is still time left before the elections and new ‘coalitions’ or parties might yet emerge for what promises to be an interesting parliamentary race.