Opposition politicians, those who signed the April 19 deal and those who refrained alike, slammed the ruling Georgian Dream party’s decision to withdraw from the agreement brokered by European Council President Charles Michel.
Below is a compilation of the reactions:
MP Tina Bokuchava, United National Movement party, nonsignatory: “The 43% [threshold] was a very big threat [to the Georgian Dream], and they think [by quitting the deal] they avoided the obligation for holding snap elections. … [But] our international partners are already expecting from the Georgian Dream to hold the snap elections if they receive less than 43% [in the 2021 local polls], so they are inevitable.”
MP Giorgi Vashadze, Strategy Aghmashenebli, signatory: “Unfortunately Georgian Dream thinks this country is a toy in its hand. We did not expect – and probably no one else did either – that they would take such a brazen step. After this decision, I have communicated with our Western partners, and it is time to begin working on enforcing large-scale mechanisms in response to the non-fulfillment of Charles Michel’s document. These could include many things, among them sanctions, as we discussed. Probably, the imposition of personal sanctions will be sped up.”
MP Levan Ioseliani, Citizens party, signatory: “I think this step by the Georgian Dream is highly irresponsible, taking into account the effort that was put into signing Charles Michel’s document. The country, the political spectrum, spent unimaginable energy so that agreement could have been reached and the Georgian Dream rejected it unilaterally.”
MP Khatuna Samnidze, Republican Party, signatory: “They didn’t stand a chance [to garner] 43% [of votes]! Since July 5 they have been trying to intensify confrontation – they involved the [Orthodox Church] Patriarchate, radicals … nothing helped. They tried to think of an excuse, and because they are not smart enough, they decided to blame [quitting the deal] again on the opposition. This [move] means rejecting Europe, the U.S., every partner of ours, every person in this country who has at least a flicker of hope of change! This is their aim – complete nihilism, complete control, full destruction of democracy in the country …”
MP Davit Bakradze, independent signatory: “Today Georgian Dream drew a dividing line. On one side there is the ruling party, left alone, and the threat of Russian future, while on the other side we, the Georgian public, opposition and our Western partners must stand together. Every one of us is obligated not to possibility allow confrontation with our [international partners], and diverging from our pro-Western course.
Giga Bokeria, European Georgia, nonsignatory: “Another brazen decision by the [Georgian Dream founder billionaire Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s regime, first of all, confirms that they are in panic, and cannot comprehend that they have a grave situation in terms of public support. … Second, it again shows to everyone, within and outside the country, their true face that their word has zero value. What’s most important is that we, the entire public, must defeat this dangerous and shameful regime in local elections, [so that] they will have to call snap elections.”
Shalva Natelashvili, Labor party, nonsignatory: “There are a few solutions to the situation. We must start a national-liberation movement. The opposition [parties] that entered the Parliament must immediately leave that palace of evil and misfortune. Our partners – the EU and the U.S. must instantly freeze Bidzina Ivanishvili’s every criminal billion.”