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Opposition names candidates for posts in Parliament

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, Novemmber 18
One of the leaders of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, Sergo Ratiani, has told local media that the UNM has already chosen its candidates for the Parliament Vice-Speaker, the minority leader and the UNM faction chairperson.

Georgia’s ex-Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze was named to be UNM’s candidate for the Vice-Parliament Speaker, while the United National Movement faction will be chaired by former head of the National Bureau of Enforcement and ex-Governor of Tbilisi's Mtatsminda District, Nika Melia.

“We will create a minority in Parliament, and the minority leader will be David Bakradze [former Parliament Speaker],” Ratiani said.

Fellow UNM member and ex-Public Defender Giorgi Tughushi said his candidacy would be presented in one of the key positions for Parliament’s Human Rights Committee.

Sergi Kapanadze has already stated the UNM will attend the new Parliament’s first session in Kutaisi this week and the session would be the “beginning of hell for the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party [with 115 seats in Parliament]”.

“We will do our best to create maximal discomfort for the ruling party in Parliament,” Kapanadze said, who after quitting his post in Foreign Ministry, ran an NGO, Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GROSS).

Kapanadze stressed that the UNM, despite its small numbers in the legislative body, was represented with a “very qualified team, one of the most qualified in Parliamentary history”.

The UNM ran Georgia between 2003-2012 until it was defeated by the Georgian Dream coalition in the 2012 Parliamentary Elections.

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party (with 115 seats in Parliament) and the Alliance of Patriots (with six lawmakers) have already named some of their nominees for key posts in Parliament.

All the candidates named for Vice-Parliament speaker and other key positions in Parliamentary committees will need the support of the majority of lawmakers, equivalent to at least 76 votes.