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To stay or not to stay

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 12
The leader of the State for People opposition party, famous Georgian opera star Paata Burchuladze, neither confirmed nor dismissed speculation over his leaving politics and his political party.

Burchuladze, who headed an election bloc of three parties, Paata Burchuladze-State for People, in the October 8 parliamentary elections, said he was “disappointed” over the elections’ outcomes.

Burchuladze’s bloc received 3.45% of the votes and failed to gain any seats in the 150-member Parliament, as his political coalition could not overcome the 5% mandatory threshold.

“They were dishonestly conducted elections. Can you image what type of Parliament we received? Who appeared in the body and who stayed out?” Burchuladze said to local media.

“I will hold a media briefing in two days and will answer all the questions about the elections and about the party’s future,” Burchuladze added.

He seemed confused when asked whether he stayed in the party or not, answering “maybe”, “let’s see”, and “I am staying”.

Burchuladze put his music career on hold and announced he was entering politics in May 2016 and formed the State for People party.

In August 2016, the Paata Burchuladze-State for People political bloc was established, which initially united four parties:

State for People – established by Burchuladze

Girchi – a political party created by ex-members of the United National Movement (UNM)

New Georgia – a party founded by ex-UNM member Giorgi Vashadze

New Rights – a non-Parliamentary opposition.

However, several days before the October 8 Parliamentary Elections, Girchi said Burchuladze was attempting to blackmail them and demanded money from the party for his "personal use”.

Burchuladze responded and said he "dismissed” Girchi from the coalition when he found out the party was financed by Georgia’s ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.