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Ahali, Girchi-More Freedom and Droa Unite Ahead of Polls

On July 9, three opposition parties, Ahali, Girchi-More Freedom, and Droa, announced their decision to post a joint election list for the Parliamentary elections in October. The leaders said an expected alliance with yet another party, Lelo, did not materialize due to “minor differences.”

According to Nika Gvaramia, co-chair of Ahali, the door for cooperation remains open with Lelo, and negotiations will continue with other opposition parties. “There is enough time,” he said

Two of the parties, Girchi-More Freedom and Droa, have been allied for about a year. It is not yet clear which ballot number and name the new coalition will use in the elections.

Aims and Priorities

In their statements, the leaders focused on adhesion to the Georgian Charter, initiated by President Salome Zurabishvili. They also pledged “non-cooperation with Bidzina Ivanishvili’s regime,” the importance of “coordination of the opposition,” and “non-aggression” among them.

“Today we unite to send Bidzina Ivanishvili’s government home, to get Russian influences out of Georgia and for Georgia to become a member of the European Union,” said Nika Gvaramia, co-chair of Ahali.

“Future elections are our responsibility. To the society that has struggled and succeeded, we must give them a choice,” said Helen Khoshtaria, leader of Droa.

“I believe we now have a unique opportunity to bring peace to this country and make it a full member of the European Union in five years. The Russian regime is the only thing standing in the way of this goal. It is essential to change this regime on October 26,” said Zurab Japaridze, leader of Girchi-More Freedom.

“For us, it was important on the one hand to give the opposition-leaning voters a variety of choices, but it was more important, given the context, not to lose any of the opposition votes,” said Nika Melia, co-chair of Ahali.

The day before, United National Movement (UNM) and Strategy Aghmashenebeli, which had already been allied for a year, announced the creation of a new political platform, “Unity – to Save Georgia.”

Georgia’s fragmented opposition has been scrambling to unite and avoid wasting opposition votes under the 5% election threshold. An agreement on a joint list has proven impossible, but smaller groupings are likely to continue to emerge.

Lelo and former PM Giorgi Gakharia’s “For Georgia” remain unaligned.

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


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