Ruling Party, Opposition Meet for Second Round of Talks

On November 14, the ruling Georgian Dream party and eight opposition parties met at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan for the second round of talks, two days after the political dialogue began through the facilitation of foreign diplomats.

Speaker of the 9th convocation of the Georgian Parliament, Archil Talakvadze, who represented the ruling party at the talks, said that the participants “are doing their best” to bring their positions closer, to ensure that “the democracy and the political system of the country continue functioning smoothly.”

“I reiterate, that we do not expect that the dialogue between political parties will end in this format. We are ready to continue this dialogue in the next Parliament,” Talakvadze said, adding that the political parties agreed to hold another meeting.

Davit Bakradze of the European Georgia said that it is early to talk about specific results due to “very different positions,” of the sides, noting that the principal aim is to bring these positions “closer through the dialogue.”

Bakradze said that at today’s meeting, the ruling party did not make any specific offers and instead the sides discussed in detail the opposition parties’ initiative of “defusing the situation through holding new elections.”

He claimed the Central Election Commission, which summarized the election results on November 13, “practically left no possibilities” of appealing and recounting precinct results.

Shalva Natelashvili, leader of the Labor Party, stressed the importance of protest rallies for achieving results and holding repeat elections. “However, the Georgian Dream takes no initiative other than declaring Bidzina Ivanishvili as a lifelong ruler,” he added.

Giorgi Vashadze, leader of the Strategy Aghmashenebeli, said after the meeting that opposition parties expect the ruling party to set the date of repeat elections during the third round of negotiations.

“The key topic of discussion is the issue of repeat elections; it is a matter of principle for the opposition,” Zurab Japaridze of Girchi said.

Grigol Vashadze, leader of the United National Movement, also attended the meeting but, like before, left without making any comments.

The ruling Georgian Dream and the eight opposition parties began a political dialogue over the looming crisis through the facilitation of the EU, U.S. Ambassadors on November 12.

As things stand, all eight opposition parties that passed the 1% election threshold, are refusing to recognize the election results and are rejecting to enter the next parliament. The opposition parties are holding joint rallies demanding snap elections, claiming the Georgian Dream government rigged elections.

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