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Co-founders leave Georgian Party after May troubles

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, June 6
Two co-founders of the opposition Georgian Party, Levan Gachechiladze and Koka Guntsadze have left the movement and issued a common statement on June 3. Two more members of the Georgian party Kakha Mikaia and Levan Chikvaidze followed suit soon after.

Gachechiladze and Guntsadze talked of disagreements with some of the party's key decisions taken in late May in connection with the street protest rallies, which, they said, ran counter to the unity of opposition forces. They said that at the time in some cases they were not even taking part in the decision-making process of the party.

“We did not agree and in some cases, did not participate in those decisions taken by the Georgian Party, which contradicted the course of unity. That’s why we took a decision to act independently in order to reach opposition unity,” the statement reads.

A few hours after the statement was released, the remaining leaders of the party published a responding statement, which was signed by Erosi Kitsmarishvili, Sozar Subari, Irakli Okruashvili and Kote Gogelia, who abstain from speaking directly with journalists. The statement says the party continues to work in a normal way and their goals remain the same.

Certain oppositional parties are sure that the Georgian Party have merely heeded a Government order, while another element is ready to collaborate with the former members of the party, “each leader of the party before May's events and during the process have played their own game and with their actions they discredit the Representative Public Assembly, which was in the authorities’ interest, “ oppositional MP, Dimitri Lortkipanidze, said. Fellow oppositional MP, Jondi Baghaturia also mentioned the Party’s supposedly pro government actions and welcomed the politicians' decision to leave the party, “lately, deliberately or accidentally, the Georgian party played the Government’s game, thus I welcome Gachechiladze’s and Guntsadze’s decision.” Leader of Free Georgia, Kakha Kukava is ready to collaborate with those politicians, “Free Georgia is ready to collaborate with all forces, which are against the current regime. “

Government representatives have considered the fact as the destruction of the Russian party in Georgia, “the premature announcement of revolution has destroyed both the Representative Public Assembly and Georgian Party. Those political groups do not have any influence on Georgian people, thus it has no importance which party they will leave and which one they will join, “MP, Nugzar Tsiklauri, said. Elsewhere, fellow majority representative, Goka Gabashvili, said, “All those parties plans, thinking on Russian forces invitation to the country, have been rejected.”

Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili considers that the reason named by Gachechiladze and Guntsandze requires more conviction and clarity, “their decision needs more explanation as to why and when the party leaders could not find common views, “at the same time the analyst thinks that leaving the party would not improve their political standing.

The Georgian Party was established in October 2010 by Sozar Subari; Levan Gachechiladze; ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili; ex-Ambassador to Russia Erosi Kitsmarishvili and Koka Guntsadze.