skip to content

Christian-Democrats Against Parliament Boycott

Giorgi Targamadze speaks to his party congress in April. Photo: InterPressNews

Giorgi Targamadze, the leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement, said he was against boycotting the newly elected parliament.

“We are not going to say no to our MP mandates; but when and how we will enter the parliament we will make a statement about it later,” Targamadze said in a late-night political talk show, Primetime, aired by Rustavi 2 TV on June 5.

“Boycotting Parliament is pointless from both the legal and political point of view,” Targamadze said. “There is in fact a totalitarian regime in Georgia, but this parliament, with opposition lawmakers in it, is the last island of democratic resources, because there is no such resource either in the street [referring to protest rallies], or in the television stations.”

The position adopted by the Christian-Democratic Movement, which has secured six seats in the parliament, was widely expected, even though it had, until now, held off from giving a clear-cut position on the matter.

In recent days several opposition figures criticised the Christian-Democratic Movement for its hesitation, saying that the party’s possible decision in favor of entering the parliament would strengthen speculation about its cooperation with the authorities. Targamadze rejected such suggestions, saying the rumors were spread by political opponents.

Targamadze also said on June 5 that his party “probably will not join” the protest rally planned by the eight-party opposition coalition and the Labor Party on June 8 outside the parliament. “I can not understand what the goal of this protest rally is,” he said.

His remarks were akin to those of the Republican Party, which said on June 3 that a planned opposition picket of the parliament – to deny entry to ruling party MPs – would be used by the authorities to justify the use of force against protesters, which would be then followed by more repression against the opposition. The Republican Party, which itself failed to clear the 5% threshold in the elections, did, however, say that it agreed with the boycott of the parliament.

It seems, however, that the opposition coalition itself is divided on the boycott issue.

Two individual members of the eight-party coalition – Gia Tsagareishvili and Gia Tortladze – said they would make a decision on the matter “individually,” indicating that they would not necessarily follow the decision of the coalition. Tsagareishvili even said earlier on June 5, before the Christian-Democratic Party’s public announcement on the matter, that the boycott would work only if all opposition parties joined it.

The eight-party opposition coalition has called on supporters to gather outside the parliament at 10pm local time on June 8.

“We plan a peaceful and active protest rally at the time when this illegal parliament and illegally elected lawmakers plan to convene the first session [of the newly elected parliament],” Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of the New Rights Party – part of the eight-party bloc – said on June 5. “We plan to spend a night outside the parliament, so as to meet those illegal lawmakers at the entrance of the parliament next morning,” Gamkrelidze added. He gave no further details.
Gamkrelidze said discussions were still underway on how best to proceed. He did not mention anything about an earlier opposition threat to prevent MPs from entering Parliament. 

The date for the first session of the new parliament has not yet been set. The opposition, however, said they planned the protest rally for late June 8 as they had information that it would take place on June 9.

The Georgian Constitution says that the first session of a newly elected parliament should be convened no later than 20 days after the elections – June 10 is therefore the deadline. It is the president’s duty to convene the first session.


Back to top button