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New Georgia led by ex-UNM member stays in Burchuladze’s bloc

By Messenger Staff
Friday, September 30
The New Georgia Party, headed by one of the faces of the previous ruling - and the current opposition - United National Movement (UNM), has decided to stay in the political bloc chaired by famous opera singer Paata Burchuladze ahead of October 8 Parliamentary Elections.

The head of New Georgia, Giorgi Vashadze, decided to stay within the bloc late on September 28, after another party of the Paata Burchuladze-State for People bloc quit the coalition.

Girchi, which was also composed of ex-UNM members, said after leaving of the block that Burchuladze was “blackmailing” Girchi members and asking for big money for his personal use.

In response, Burchuladze said he “received a confirmed information” that Girchi was being financed by Georgia’s ex-Prime Minister, the founder of the current ruling Georgian Dream party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanshvili.

Burchuladze stressed it was “unacceptable” for him to be somehow affiliated with Ivanishvili and made a decision to “fire” Girchi from the bloc.

Meanwhile, Girchi member Zurab Japaridze said the party made the decision by itself and stressed Burchuladze was a “liar.”

Commenting after the conversation with Burchuladze, Vashadze said Burchuladze’s bloc was “free from any outside influences” and he continued to fight with the coalition to win the upcoming race.

Burchuladze added after the talks with Vashadze, that “Ivansihvili has some plans towards his bloc, with the help of Girchi, but the scheme was detected.”

Analyst Levan Kalandadze believes there were several people in Girchi who could play a positive, constructive role in the future parliament, as Girchi “could tell the truth.”

“Now they will know that everything that shines isn’t gold,” Kalandadze said.

Besides Girchi, the New Georgia and Burchuladze State for People, non-parliamentary opposition New Rights were also in the block. The New Rights stated they also intend to stay in the coalition.

Before coming to politics, Burchuladze was engaged with philanthropic activities through the Iavnana fund, and enjoyed a high level of respect in Georgia.

Since stating about his intentions to politics in May 2016, various people joined and left his political party.

It is still hard to say whether the bloc will win any seats in Parliament, but it is clear the Burchuladze's mass appeal to the Georgian people is now a thing of the past.