Ruling Georgian Dream party’s majoritarian MP Kakhaber Okriashvili and businessmen brothers, Tsezar Chocheli and Lasha Chocheli set up a new political party Progress and Freedom.
The Central Election Commission has already registered the new party as an electoral subject, Okriashvili’s press office reported on August 10.
Kakha (Kakhaber) Okriashvili, majoritarian MP from southern Tsalka and Dmanisi single-mandate constituency, served as majoritarian MP in the previous three convocations as well. He owns shares in several companies, including the PSP pharmacy network.
Okriashvili entered the Parliament in 2016 through the Georgian Dream’s quota. In the previous two parliaments – in 2008 and 2012 – Okriashvili was elected as majoritarian MP from Dmanisi as a member of then ruling UNM party.
Noteworthy, that shortly after the 2012 elections in which the Georgian Dream coalition defeated UNM, Okriashvili quit the latter and remained independent. Earlier in 2004-2008, he represented an initiative group in the same single-mandate constituency.
MP Okriashvili was among those Georgian Dream majoritarian lawmakers who voted down the amendments on the transition to a fully proportional electoral system last November. In June, he also voted against the amendments, according to which the tenth convocation of the legislative body will consist of 120 proportional and 30 majoritarian members.
recently Georgian Dream did not nominate Okriashvili as its majoritarian candidate for the upcoming October polls.
Businessman Tsezar Chocheli was a majoritarian MP from now Russian-occupied Akhalgori single-mandate constituency in 2004-2008. In 2008, he was appointed as Governor of Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region. He quit the post in October 2012 at his own decision.
In January 2013, Chocheli was arrested on charges related to illegal entrepreneurship and money laundering but was soon released on GEL 200,000 (then USD 113,000) bail. He ran as an independent candidate in Mtskheta single-mandate constituency during the 2016 parliamentary elections but lost the race with Georgian Dream’s candidate Dimitri Khundadze.