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Ex Free Democrats support the ruling party

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 26
Three former members of the Free Democrats opposition party have urged their voters to vote for the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party majoritarian candidates in the October 30 second round of Parliamentary Elections.

The ex-members of the Free Democrats party - which failed to overcome the minimal 5% threshold in the first round of elections - David Onoprishvili, Zurab Abashidze and Gia Tsagareishvili, said it was unacceptable for them to urge voters to support the candidates of the United National Movement.

“In several days there will be a second round of elections, where mainly candidates of the United National Movement and the ruling party are opposing one another. There is no alternative, and we urge the people supporting us to vote for the ruling party candidates,” Onoprishvili said.

Onoprishvili said the Free Democrats had been members of the Georgian Dream coalition, founded prior to the 2012 Parliamentary Elections, with the sole aim of ending the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.

“In 2012 we jointly made a decision to, as a minimum, send the United National Movement into opposition or make the party quit politics completely,” Onoprishvili added.

Member of the Free Democrats Nino Goguadze said it was “unacceptable for the Free Democrats to appeal to voters to vote for a party the Free Democrats are opposed to”.

Goguadze stressed they never appealed to voters to support any of the parties in the election run-off as the decision should be made by the voters themselves.

“Voters should take responsibility for their own decisions,” Goguadze said.

She stressed the appeal Free Democrats could make to their voters was to urge them to support the Free Democrats’ only majoritarian candidate in the western Tchiatura region.

Goguadze also mentioned the threat of obtaining constitutional majority by the ruling team [at least 100 members by one party in the 150-seat legislative body].

A member of the United National Movement, Sergi Kapanadze, said the statement made by the ex-members of Free Democrats was “shameful”.

He said he was happy none of them would be in the future parliament.

For its part, the United National Movement had urged the parties failing to overcome the election threshold appeal to their voters to support opposition candidates in the election run-off.

After the first round, seven key members, including the Free Democrats' leader Irakli Alasania, quit the party.