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Two Sakrebulo Members Quit Gakharia’s Party in Contested Municipalities

Members of ex-Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s For Georgia, Irakli Tavdgiridze and Nana Lemonjava, have left the party after being recently elected to contested municipal councils (Sakrebulo) of Batumi and Tsalenjikha, respectively. 

For Georgia party could play a decisive role for either the ruling Georgian Dream or its arch-rival United National Movement to form majorities in several councils, including in Batumi and Tsalenjikha, as well as Rustavi and Senaki Sakrebulos.

Tavdgiridze, former head of For Georgia’s Batumi office, announced on October 29 he found it “unacceptable” to cooperate in any form with the United National Movement or Lelo parties, alluding to possible coalition talks between the three parties.

After quitting the party, he said he would work independently in the Batumi Sakrebulo, where For Georgia now has two members left, while Georgian Dream has 16, UNM – 15 and Lelo – 1.

If Tavdgiridze would choose to back the GD, the governing party would still need one more Sakrebulo member’s backing to form a majority.

An elected For Georgia member in Tsalenjikha Sakrebulo, Nana Lemonjava said on October 24 in a Facebook post – now deleted or made invisible to the public – she would continue as an independent member.

She accused Tsalenjikha office of For Georgia of betrayal and choosing an “unacceptable path” of cooperating with the UNM. In the town’s Sakrebulo,  For Georgia has now two elected members left, while GD has 10, UNM – 8 and Lelo – 1. Five majoritarian seats are contested in the October 30 runoffs.

Earlier this month, on October 4, GD chair MP Kobakhidze ruled out cooperating with the party of “traitor” ex-PM Gakharia to form majorities in contested Sakrebulos, but said the party would seek to hold talks with individual elected members.

Sozar Subari, GD lawmaker, confirmed on October 14 the governing party was already in talks with individual For Georgia members.

For Georgia party on the departures

For Georgia member Akaki Gvianidze, elected to Sakrebulo along with Tavdgiridze, said today “the sooner our team is cleared of people for whom material well-being comes above dignity, the better.” He maintained the party is not changing its position and vowed to continue the “fight for change” without cooperating with either GD or the UNM.

Giga Parulava, a member of For Georgia’s political council claimed on October 24 claimed that the Georgian Dream had “provided a job” for Lemojava’s husband with a salary to GEL 1,200 (USD 381). It is good that Nana Lemonjava will not be a member of our party anymore, Parulava stressed

Levan Dolidze, stressed that GD “continue to operate in exactly the same way after the election as they did before the election,” alluding to allegations leveled by his party against GD over-pressuring For Georgia’s supporters, members or candidates.

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