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Parliamentary speaker says problems between Republicans and Industrials are resolvable

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, March 1
Parliamentary Speaker Davit Usupashvili stated that any attempt to convert the confrontation between the Republicans and the Industrials into an open conflict will be unsuccessful.

Usupashvili, who himself is a member of the Republicans, believes that the recent problems between the coalition Georgian Dream’s (GD) member fractions - the Republicans and the Industrials - are the problems of the coalition as a whole and the government itself.

“These problems refer not only to the Industrials or the Republicans; they refer to the coalition, the Government and the future of the country. So we have to be faithful and careful here,” said the Speaker.

According to Usupashvili, the Chair of the Industrials, Gogi Topadze, stated a long time ago that the party was going to quit Parliament and its political positions, though this was said before the confrontation between the two parties started.

The Speaker called upon everyone to refrain from making any inappropriate statements, as he believes that these problems are solvable.

The confrontation between the Republicans and the Industrials started on February 10 2016, when Gogi Topadze accused Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli, a member of the Republicans, of forging by-elections in Sagarejo by using the votes of purposefully-transported soldiers in order to help the GD's Republican candidate, Tamar Khidasheli (a relative of the Defence Minister), to win the elections.

The Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the results of the Sagarejo by-elections, which Topadze believes adds credence to his claims.

The Republicans stated that Topadze’s statements harmed not only the image of the Republicans and the GD Coalition, but the pro-Western course of the country as well. They believe that Topadze’s statements should not have become grounds for launching an investigation.

According to the Chairman of the Georgian Dream faction, Giorgi Volski, the Prime Minister called on both the Republican Party and the Industrials to show self-restraint. Giorgi Volski made this statement after meeting with the Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Volski said that the problems between the two fractions will be discussed at the meeting of the Georgian Dream Coalition political board, the date of which is as yet unknown.

According to parliamentary majority leader Zviad Kvachantiradze, a decision has been made to lead the process towards reconciliation and the PM will be actively engaged in this issue.

In addition, the parliamentary majority said that Kvirikashvili plans to individually meet with Gogi Topadze and the Republicans, but public discussions on the issue should end.