UNM’s Senaki Councilor Accuses GD of Attempted Bribery

Lasha Kuchava, a member of the hung Senaki Municipal Council (Sakrebulo) from the United National Movement party claimed today that the Georgian Dream party offered him GEL 100,000 (USD 32.5 thousand) as a bribe for his support.

The councilor told a local reporter that the GD “lacks one vote to have a majority in the Senaki Sakrebulo and is doing everything and uses every dirty method to gain that one vote… bribery, intimidation, blackmail and so on.” has contacted the Georgian Dream party for comments on Kuchava’s allegation and awaits a response, which will be published if provided.

Senaki Sakrebulo is one of the five local councils unable to elect chairpersons, as no single party holds a majority of seats. In the newly convened council, GD holds 16 seats, UNM – 13, and ex-Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s For Georgia party – 4 seats.

Senaki Municipal Council meetings have been postponed on multiple occasions due to a lack of quorum. At today’s meeting, GD members and one member of For Georgia were absent. Similar to the December 24 meeting, when GD members, one member of UNM, and one For Georgia member were not present at the sitting.

Councilor Kuchava’s allegation comes as the United National Movement has accused the GD of coercing its councilor in Dmanisi, Ramiz Ramazanov, who turned independent and helped elect a GD member as the Sakrebulo chair. The largest opposition group has also claimed its councilor in hung Batumi Sakrebulo, Nugzar Putkaradze faced pressure from the GD to go independent, shortly before he passed away in November. 

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