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In Quotes: Political Reactions to UNM Joining EU-Brokered Deal

The United National Movement party’s move to join the April 19 EU-brokered deal today only after nearly five months of signing and the ruling Georgian Dream party’s withdrawal triggered criticism from the GD as well as mixed reactions from the opposition.

Below is a compilation of the remarks: 

PM Irakli Garibashvili, Georgian Dream:  “Yesterday we learned that they [UNM] have come up with yet another political fraud, and decided to sign the document mediated by the EU. … We had waited for their signature for three months. … We agreed to a compromise [in April] and signed the document, one of the main goals of which was to calm down a very polarized society and [political] situation. … The Georgian Dream started to fulfill its commitments, and we scrupulously fulfilled some of the reforms and responsibilities even though it was a unilaterally drafted document, as the UNM, which should have been the key signatory, did not sign.”

MP Badri Japaridze, Lelo, signatory: “The agreement is in force despite the démarche of the Georgian Dream. … The UNM’s signature is a positive step towards further consolidating pro-Western parties inside the country.”

MP Salome Samadashvili, former UNM member. signatory: “This is a belated but correct decision. It would have been better if the UNM made this decision on April 19. I think then the opposition would have been better prepared for local elections. … It is good that the UNM decided not to give the Georgian Dream an excuse to point fingers at the opposition when it [GD] violates the terms of the agreement. The only party that remains responsible for the non-fulfillment of the agreement is the GD.”

MP Giorgi Vashadze, Strategy Aghmashenebli, signatory: “This is an acknowledgment that our decision to sign the deal was right. Secondly, it is an attempt by the UNM to correct their mistake, that gave the Georgian Dream an excuse to leave the deal.”

MP Grigol Vashadze, former UNM chair, signatory: “What should have been done eight months ago was done now. … I do not think that this anything will improve now, do believe that the Georgian Dream will return to the agreement?!”

Giga Bokeria, chair of European Georgia, nonsignatory:  “We believed that this document would not bring the country out of the crisis, and unfortunately the subsequent events confirmed this. So, it is up to the UMM to decide which document it joins, and when. I think it is a mistake to focus on this now. … The focus now should be on what the [Georgian Dream founder Bidzina] Ivanishvili regime understands – demonstrating peaceful force in the elections.”

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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