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Opposition United National Movement party enters Georgian Parliament

By Veronika Malinboym
Tuesday, June 1
Georgia’s major opposition United National Movement party will enter the parliament after a six-month boycott, chairman of the party, Nika Melia has announced. Melia added that despite its decision, the United National Movement party will still refrain from signing the EU-brokered agreement between the ruling party and the opposition. Melia also noted that the party will be joining the parliament because of its unwavering efforts to put an end to the oligarchy of the former leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Members of the UNM have stated on numerous occasions that the reason why the party refuses to sign the agreement proposed by the President of the European Council Charles Michel is because of the amnesty that it extended upon the party’s leader Nika Melia, stating that amnesty implies some sort of guilt, while Nika Melia was just a political prisoner.

The ruling Georgian Dream party also commented on the United National Movement’s move. On its official Twitter account the party posted:

“Radical United National Movement, having effectively admitted defeat of their destructive political agenda, takes up seats in Georgian Parliament. UNM, however, refuses to sign the EU-mediated political agreement, which is the basis for consensus for ending the political crisis.”

Meanwhile, the US and EU ambassadors to Georgia expressed strong regret overy the UNM’s refusal to sign the EU-mediated agreement:

"However, we strongly regret that the United National Movement did not seize the opportunity today to join the other parties in signing the 19 April agreement. The UNM shares the responsibility with the other elected parties to engage constructively in Parliament to address perceptions of politicized justice, adopt and scrutinise the implementation of ambitious electoral and judicial reform and participate in power-sharing within Parliament, among many priorities.

This is important work that needs the responsible participation of all of Georgia’s elected leaders. By signing this agreement the UNM would demonstrate its commitment to carry out these fundamental objectives in the interest of Georgia, its citizens, EU-Georgia relations and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future," read the official statement reads.

The United National Movement’s decision marks an end to the opposition bloc’s boycott of the parliament mandates, which began shortly after the results of the October 2020 Parliamentary Elections have been announced. The opposition claimed that the elections were rigged and called on the new ones to be held.