Dimitri Khundadze, a senior MP of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, has called today for nominating a party candidate for the October presidential elections.
Khundadze, who serves as the deputy chair of the healthcare and social affairs committee, said at a press briefing on August 13 that the GDDG leader Bidzina Ivanishvili’s proposal not to field a presidential candidate and the subsequent approval of the GDDG leadership, has met opposition within the ruling team.
“In spite of the fact that majority of GDDG members share Bidzina Ivanishvili’s position to endorse an independent candidate and are in favor of not nominating our own candidate, there is a difference of opinion in the ruling team; there are MPs, including myself, who favor the position that the GDDG has to have its candidate in the upcoming elections,” he said.
The MP then stressed that the GDDG leader’s arguments were “reasonable,” but added that refusal to participate in the polls would be “hard to explain to our voters and team members.”
“This might lead to uncertainty and uncertainty may lead to undesirable outcomes; we might end up having an opposition president, who won’t be a guarantor of stability [as outlined in the constitution],” the lawmaker noted.
Khundadze also said he was against the GDDG decision to endorse an independent candidate. “If we support an independent candidate, the candidate’s actions after assuming power will [still] be associated with the ruling party and the party will frequently have to answer for its actions, the vivid examples of which we already have,” he said, apparently referring to a recent row over the controversial August war remarks of MP Salome Zurabishvili.
The lawmaker then noted that he and other like-minded MPs would renew the discussions over the matter and try to convince other party members to nominate a partisan candidate.
That the ruling party would not field a candidate and would instead endorse the candidacy of an independent nominee, was announced by Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze on August 6. GDDG members are reportedly pondering over endorsing the candidacy of Salome Zurabishvili, a French-born career diplomat and a member of the Parliament of Georgia.