Former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, leader of For Georgia party, proposed today holding “open trilateral negotiations” to the Georgian Dream and United National Movement parties to ensure a “balanced composition” of the city and municipal councils (Sakrebulo) across Georgia.
For Georgia party received 7.79% of nationwide proportional votes in the October 2 polls, coming in third after GD and the UNM. The two parties need the support of Gakharia’s party for either of them to form a majority at least in Batumi, Rustavi and Senaki Councils.
Gakharia acknowledged today that his party could have a “decisive” role in composing the councils and electing their chairs in “many of the places” across Georgia, but again dismissed the prospects of forming a coalition majority with either the GD or UNM.
“Our main goal is to give both sides an opportunity to negotiate,” Gakharia said in a largely ambiguous statement, adding his party would “unconditionally” support any candidate agreed by the GD and UNM, supposedly referring to Sakrebulo Chairpersonship candidates.
He claimed that the ruling party and the UNM have both tried to secretly negotiate an agreement with For Georgia, adding the GD has also tried to win over elected Sakrebulo members from the party using other “dirty methods.”
Gakharia said if the GD and UNM refuse to participate in the talks, or fail to reach an agreement, For Georgia will continue on with its “fundamental principle of balance of power – not to allow concentration of power at any municipal level.”
GD, UNM Reactions
MP Anri Okhanashvili of the GD said his party rules out on holding any political dialogues and agreements with “political groups and individuals associated with betrayal, as well as with the [United] National Movement, associated with violence.”
UNM member Giorgi Baramidze said they were ready for an “open dialogue.” Baramidze said the party seeks to create “a model of multi-party governance at the local level”.
But another UNM member, Petre Tsiskarishvili said the opposition party has “nothing to discuss with the Georgian Dream.” Slamming Gakharia’s offer as “spineless,” Tsiskarishvili urged ex-PM to pick a side. “If you are in opposition, you have to form a coalition with the opposition.”
This article was updated at 13:45 on October 8 with responses from the GD and UNM members.
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