Georgian 'Republicans' to participate in elections as independent party

 Georgian 'Republicans' to participate in elections as independent party

One of the largest political organizations of Georgia, the Republican Party, which is part of the Georgian Dream coalition party, will participate in the parliamentary elections in autumn independently.

"The Republican Party of Georgia will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections independently," a statement of the party says.

The head of the Republican Party, Khatuna Samnidze, noted that 'the Republicans' will remain working alongside the coalition and do not intend to leave their positions in the government.

"We will leave governmental positions only due to our own political agenda or the Prime Minister's decision," she explained.

According to Samnidze, their future cooperation with the coalition will depend on the new composition of the Georgian Dream party.  "We will try out steps not to trigger questions about state stability and the country’s foreign orientation," the leader of the party assured.

"The faction will act based on the political party priorities, except on issues that had been previously been agreed in the majority format," Sputnik Georgia cited Samnidze as saying.

Now the Cabinet is composed of three members of the Republican Party: Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli, the head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Gigla Agulashvili, and the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Paata Zakareishvili.

The Republican Party is represented by 10 deputies in the Parliament.

The head of the Center for Global Studies, Nana Devdariani, said in conversation with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that the Republicans "were almost forced to do it, because representatives of the Georgian Dream coalition more and more often say that it will be wiser for each party to take part in the elections separately, and that their place in the coalition government and the parliament will depend on the outcome." "It makes sense, because the inappropriately high representation of the Republicans in the government annoys many people, since their rating is not so high," she believes.

"If a Georgian Dream party would run without the Republicans, it would have more support, as the Republican Party is unpopular. Projections are usually a very thankless job. But the Republicans are still urging the coalition to help them to overcome the barrier, or at least not to interfere. There is such a practice when one can share first-past-the-post mandates. More likely they will not have many votes, but they will probably overcome the barrier to enter parliament. Therefore, having all these advantages before the elections, they can seriously attract votes," Nana Devdariani stressed.

The head of the Institute of Management Strategy, Petre Mamradze, in his turn, said that it was inevitable. "The fact is that the Republicans are trying to present themselves as the only pro-Western party in the whole coalition and some statements from other members of the coalition interfere it," he said.

"The second and most important is that they do not expect to get those positions they had for several years. I mean the Speaker of the Parliament Usupashvili, the defense minister Khidasheli, another two ministers, some committee chairmen in the Parliament and so on. No one will offer them such positions now," the expert added.

"They did the right thing in a political sense. They said they will participate independently, as it is better than to be in a subordinate position and accept someone else's conditions. The Republicans also said they are not going to leave the ministerial positions or withdraw from the coalition. So, on the one hand, they show constructiveness and on the other hand, made a forced move," the analyst believes.

According to him, now, "even the Republicans's place in the Parliament is under question." "But it should be noted that many parties in Georgia simply disappear when they lose some positions and the Republicans has existed for decades. Although know from many sources that they wasted no time and tried to use their position in the government and parliament. That's why Khidasheli demanded the post of the defense minister. But according to today's data, I personally doubt that they will overcome 5% when others will actively participate in the elections," he predicts.

"The Georgian Dream's attitude is that it's ballast, which they are dropping now. Many people actively dislike the Republicans, I personally know such people. I welcome Kvirikashvili's statement that the Georgian Dream party has a good chance to get much more without any ballast," Petre Mamradze concluded.