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Free Democrats, Republicans Agree to Join Forces for Municipal Elections

Two non-parliamentary political parties – the Free Democrats and the Republican Party – will run on a joint ticket for the upcoming municipal elections in October, party leaders announced at their press conference on May 30.

Shalva Shavgulidze of the Free Democrats, who spoke first at the press briefing, emphasized that the two parties “have common values, as well as an important, quite extensive experience of cooperation and partnership.”

“Through joint efforts, we will reduce the Georgian Dream’s unlimited power starting from the municipal level, and for the next parliamentary election, we will establish the ground for defeating the political force, which did not fulfill our citizens’ expectations, and to say it frankly, deceived the Georgian people,” he said.

Khatuna Samnidze, leader of the Republican Party, stressed that the Republicans and the Free Democrats “have a long experience of partnership and cooperation.”

“We have a common ideology and similar visions about Georgia’s future,” she said. “And exactly because of that, our negotiations have yielded results and we will unite into an electoral bloc.”

“This unity is especially important in today’s Georgia, today’s reality,” Samnidze added. “Today, we still have a clan-based judiciary, we are still eavesdropped, and the government still talks about centralization instead of strong self-governance.”
To change this reality, we have united into an electoral bloc … and we would like to offer the public, our citizens a free space; we invite all those citizens, who believe that they should take care of their villages, cities, change the existing reality in our country,” Samnidze went on.

She also noted that the two parties will nominate joint candidates and present a common list during the municipal elections. “We have successfully completed negotiations and agreed on a joint electoral bloc. As for common candidates and lists, we will provide detailed information in the nearest future,” she said.

The Free Democrats and the Republican Party, the two influential junior members of the Georgian Dream coalition in the 2012 Parliamentary Election, ran independently in 2016 and failed to enter the parliament with 4.63 percent and 1.55 percent of nationwide votes, respectively.

The failure to enter the parliament prompted departures of several senior party officials of both parties, including their leaders, former Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili and former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania.

The Republican Party (since 2007) and the Free Democrats (since 2012) are full members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party, liberal-democratic political family in Europe.


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