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Dignity Above EU Candidacy, GD MP says

“We will not give up our dignity to get the status” of EU candidate, the ruling Georgian Dream MP Khundadze said today. The quote was cited by InterPressNews, a Georgian wire agency, which agency said it received MP’s statement in written form.

MP Khundadze was responding to the European Parliament’s resolution on press freedom violations in Georgia, which also called on “democratic partners” to impose sanctions on ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, the ruling party founder, over his “destructive role” in Georgian politics.

“If Georgia receives the status of a candidate with the same unjust obligations as the unjust accusations reflected in the resolution, then the country should refuse in response.”

“Despite knowing about the anti-state work of the Georgian opposition in Europe, yesterday’s EP resolution crossed all lines,” the lawmaker went on, adding that the document was “an open insult to the Georgian people.”

“Moreover, we have never seen such an unjust Europe in the period of Georgia’s independence.”

MP Khundadze assured that no force would be able to “intimidate Bidzina Ivanishvili or the Georgian state with threatened sanctions.”

“On the contrary, yesterday nearly destroyed the Georgian people’s European choice. This is a dangerous political game,” he warned.

EU on par with Russia

Per MP Khundadze, “we had a feeling that Georgia’s independence was once again under threat.”

“What difference does it make to us, who will be our ruler, if it means that we have to fight for our independence again?” he asked, seemingly putting Georgia’s occupier Russia on par with the European Union.

“Interfering in the country’s internal affairs and denying the choice of a majority of the population is an attempt to undermine the nation’s independence.”

He lambasted the European Parliament for ignoring Georgia’s “major contribution to the formation of Europe” and said that “today, modern Europe is degrading us, precisely one of the nations which created European values.”

“The EU constitution clearly states that this Union must be based on the principle of equality. And what did we see yesterday? We saw arrogant EU countries, insulting one of the oldest civilized states in the European family,” the MP seethed.

“We did not work for this in the 19th century nor did we fight for it in the last decades. The anger of the Georgian people over yesterday is fair,” he emphasized.

“The EU constitution clearly states that this union must be based on the principle of equality. And what did we see yesterday? We saw arrogant EU countries, insulting one of the oldest civilized states in the European family,” the MP seethed.

MP Khundadze assured that no force would be able to “intimidate Bidzina Ivanishvili or the Georgian state with threatened sanctions.”

Public Defender Lomjaria Responds

Nino Lomjaria, the Public Defender of Georgia, decried MP Khundadze’s remarks in a Facebook post.

“How dare you??!! The majority of the Georgian population and the Constitution have already decided on the European choice.” “Who gave you the right to say this on behalf of the country?!”

Ruling party distances itself

Following the outcry, the ruling party officials have distanced themselves from MP Khundadze’s statement. Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee Nikoloz Samkharadze told Netgazeti that Khundadze was expressing his personal view, while the party considered conditionality for the candidacy status “a normal thing, that occurs regularly.” Vice-Speaker Gia Volski, while expressing an “understanding” to the outcry against the European Parliament’s resolution that he termed “unjust”, stated that MP Khundadze did not “express the official position of the ruling team or the party”.

It is noteworthy, that MP Dimitri Khundadze has a track record of dissociating himself formally from the ruling party’s official position. He was among the Georgian Dream lawmakers, who voted against and thus unexpectedly disrupted the transition to the proportional election system starting in 2020 parliamentary polls. The decision, from which the ruling party first distanced itself, but subsequently defended, deepened Georgia’s political crisis in late 2019.


The passing of the resolution, to which the Georgian Dream has responded in anger, comes as the country is waiting for the European Commission to deliver its opinion on its candidacy bid soon, with the European Council (Member States) expected to make a final decision by the end of June.

The critical, albeit non-binding, EP resolution, called for the EU institutions to work towards granting EU candidate status to Georgia on the basis of merit and on the condition that the Georgian authorities fulfil all criteria.

Note: This article was revised from its original version. Reaction from the ruling party officials was added.

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

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