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Opera singer unites ex-UNM members

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 22
Four political parties stated at the end of the last week they are creating a new political platform to achieve success in the upcoming October 8 Parliamentary Elections.

Two of the parties of the platform are composed of members of the previous ruling United National Movement (UNM) party, which ran Georgia between 2003-2012.

The platform of the four parties consist of the Movement State for people-chaired by Paata Burchuladze; Girchi, a political unity composed of former members of the previous ruling United National Movement (UNM); New Rights non-parliamentary opposition party, and New Georgia, a political party chaired by former member of UNM Giorgi Vashadze.

The parties are united under the name of Georgia’s well-known opera singer Paata Burchuladze, as the name of the new political platform is Paata Burchuladze – Movement of the State for the People.

“The parties decided to join us when we experience hard times. Now they will share every burden and responsibility with us,” Burchuladze stated.

He added that the majority of his party were supporting the unity, while there were some others who were opposing the merger; among them was a journalist, Merab Metreveli.

However, Metreveli and Burchuladze did not confirm rumours over the journalist’s leaving the new platform.

Members of the current ruling Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia party stated that the presence of former UNM members in the new unity would encourage voters not to vote for them.

Analyst Gia Khukhashvili believes creating a common platform was in the interests of all parties, as Burchuladze, due to his previous philanthropist activities and promoting Georgia abroad, enjoyed public trust, though his party lacked political experience and infrastructure.

“Meanwhile, Vashadze and the members of Girchi , as well as the New Rights have political experience and infrastructure, but they lacked voters’ support,” Khukhashvili said.

Khukhashvili added that the new platform would overcome the election threshold but it was hard for the analyst to say what could be any further achievement of the new unity.

Political Expert Soso Tsintsadze thinks the new alliance will have no chance of defeating the ruling team in the upcoming race, but the fact that opposition parties managed to unite was a positive signal for him.