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Parliament suspends statuses of three Alliance of Patriots MPs

By Veronika Malinboym
Tuesday, January 5
As requested, the Parliament of Georgia suspended the status of three MPs of the Alliance of Patriots opposition party. Irma Inashvili, Giorgi Lomia, and Gocha Tevdoradze are no longer members of the Parliament. Much like many other opposition parties, Alliance of Patriots has refused to recognize the results of the October 2020 Parliamentary Elections, claiming that they were fabricated by the ruling Georgian Dream party. At the end of last year, the party also submitted an official request to the Central Election Commission, to have its party lists annulled. This was done in order to prevent other candidates on the list from taking up the mandates of the MPs who have already refused them.

However, four other candidates of the Alliance of Patriots Gela Mikadze, Pridon Injia, Davit Zilpimiani, and Avtandil Enukidze decided to retain their names on the party list and enter the Parliament. According to the ruling Georgian Dream party, the reason why the vote on the suspension of the Alliance of Patriots MPs was held so early is that there are four candidates available to replace them in the Parliament.

As of now, fifty-four out of sixty opposition MPs in a 150-seat Parliament have already boycotted their seats and called for a re-election. The ruling Georgian Dream party claimed the vote on the status of the remaining opposition MPs will be held after the fifth round of talks between the ruling party and the opposition. Despite the continuous efforts of the foreign diplomats and repeated calls of the international community, the country remains in a one-party state.

The first session of the 10th convocation of the Parliament of Georgia was held on December 11th, and no opposition MPs were present. On December 23, the Parliament passed a bill in the first reading, which stated that the parties, whose candidates refuse to claim their seats in Parliament will be stripped of the state funding and the free media time. The rationale behind such a decision was explained by the MP of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Anri Okhanashvili. He claimed that state funding that the MPs and the parties receive is the salary for their service to the Georgian citizens, thus, there is no reason why such salary should be paid if the MP refuses to do their job.

It is not yet clear if the country will be able to find a solution to the ongoing crisis, and whether the request of other opposition MPs will be granted with the Parliament voting in favor of the suspension of their statuses.