The split of Georgia’s key opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), on January 12 saw changes in the parliamentary factions of the party.
UNM split causes change in Parliament
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, January 16
After the 59 members quit the UNM, which has total of 27 seats in Parliament, the two factions of the party remain in the hands of the 21 UNM MPs who left the party.
The name of the United National Movement parliamentary faction was changed into European Georgia, and will be headed by SergoRatiani instead of the former faction head, NikaMelia.
As for the second UNM faction, the National Movement for Georgia’s Advancement, its name was changed to European Georgia for a Better Future, and EleneKhoshtaria remains its head. MPs IrakliAbesadze and TengizGunava will move to the faction, to replace Roman Gotsiridze and Salome Samadashvili, who decided to stay in the United National Movement.
UNM MPs call on former members of the party to leave the factions, saying they belong to the UNM.
Akaki Minashvili, who remains in the UNM, said they will use all legal means to make their former teammates leave the UNM factions.
“Our former teammates, who left the party, will have to form a new faction, as the factions they are holding now belong to the UNM,” said Minashvili.
Another member of the UNM, Tinatin Boluchava, also calls on former party members to create a new faction.
“Former members of the UNM are doing their best to maintain their positions and get the benefits and goodness, which brings the UNM faction. They will have to leave the factions and create a new one, as these factions belong to the National Movement,” said Boluchava.
A parliamentary faction is a group of at least six MPs, which gives certain privileges to its members, involving a seat and right to vote in Parliament’s bureau, guaranteed seats in committees, investigative and other ad hoc commissions and parliamentary delegations, as well as allocation of more time during debates and discussions in the Parliament.
After UNM MP Azer Suleimanov decided to stay in the party, the UNM will now be able to have its own faction as it has necessary 6 MPs in the parliament: Nikanor Melia, Roma Gotsiridze, Tinatin Boluchava, Salome Samadashvili, Koba Nakopia and Azer Suleimanov.