The National Forum, one of the parties of the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition, has stated it has quit the ruling coalition and the parliamentary majority and will participate independently in the upcoming October elections.
National Forum quits both GD coalition and parliamentary majority
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, April 5
The National Forum, with a six-person faction in the legislative body, revealed its decision on April 4 after the two other coalition parties - the Republicans and the Conservatives - unveiled their future intentions last week.
The Republicans said they would run independently in the parliamentary race, but chose to remain in the parliamentary majority with its members retaining senior posts in the Cabinet and other state bodies until the elections.
The Conservatives announced they are staying in the coalition and the majority, and would hold consultations on how they intend to take part in the elections.
The main party of the coalition, Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, with a 48-person faction in the legislative body, also stated there would be no GD coalition for this year’s parliamentary elections.
The last member party of the GD coalition created prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections, the Industrials, have not yet announced their plans.
Since the National Forum left the majority in Parliament, the head of the party Gubaz Sanikidze also quit the post of Vice Parliament Speaker, and other members of the party also had to empty leading posts in the legislative body.
Before the National Forum’s move, the parliamentary majority was composed of seven factions and consequently was represented with 88 members in the 150-seat legislative body.
The separation of the National Forum will not derange the majority as now it consists of six factions and 82 members.
However, if the Republicans, which have 10 lawmakers in Parliament, amend their decision and quit the majority, the coalition will definitely split and Parliament will face inevitable structural changes.
Now, after the National Forum have left, the situation in Parliament is as follows:
The majority has 82 lawmakers in the 150-seat legislative body; the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia has 48 MPs; the Republicans have 10; the Conservatives, the Industrials, independent MPs all have 6 representatives.
When created by Georgia’s ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivansihvili for the 2012 parliamentary race, the Free Democrats and the People’s Parry were also in the coalition.
However, the head of People’s Party, Koba Davitashvili, quit the coalition in 2013, claiming that he had different views from the coalition. The Free Democrats left the coalition in 2014 after a large-scale scandal emerged related to the party's head, ex-Defence Minister Irakli Alasania, whose several employees were detained for the alleged misspending of budgetary funds.
Alasania claims the arrest was staged by Ivanishvili, as the billionaire disliked his effective steps towards Georgia’s NATO integration.