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Options to cooperate in new Gov't

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 18
A former member of the Free Democrats (FD) opposition party, Zurab Abashidze, says it is never excluded for him to cooperate with the future Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) Government.

Abashidze, who quit the FD party several days ago, says he only excludes cooperation with the United National Movement (UNM), the party established by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, which ran Georgia between 2003-2012.

“Why should I not cooperate with the authorities? We have a great experience in cooperation with the Georgian Dream party, even when we were in the opposition,” said Abashidze.

The FD party, which was headed by Georgia’s ex-Defence Minister Irakli Alasania, went into opposition in 2014.

The party was a member of the Georgian Dream coalition founded by the ex-Prime Minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, prior to the 2012 Parliamentary Elections, to defeat the nine-year rule of the UNM.

In November 2014, the party quit the coalition due to a public disagreement between Alasania and the Government.

In this year's October 8 parliamentary elections, the Free Democrats, which participated separately from the ruling party, gained only 4.62% of the votes.

They were unable to overcome the 5% threshold needed to gain a seat in the 150-member legislative body.

A couple of days ago, seven key figures of the party, including Alasania himself, quit the party.

Alasania said his absence would be “temporary” and said the party needed renewal.

Those who quit the party are Alasania, Georgia’s ex-Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili, and FD lawmakers Viktor Dolidze, Gia Tsagareishvili, ex-Finance Minister David Onoprishvili, FD lawyer Irakli Chikovani and Zurab Abashidze.

The Georgian media speculates that some of them have been offered posts in the executive Government.