The messenger logo

National Forum denies any negotiations with UNM

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 19
The National Forum opposition party, which was a part of the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition running Georgia between 2012-2016, denies any negotiations with the opposition United National Movement in 2014 with the aim to create an opposition majority in the legislative body.

Gia Baramidze, One of the leaders of the UNM, the party founded by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili which was in power between 2003-2012, said there were chances for the UNM to create majority in Parliament with the help of three Georgian Dream coalition member parties in 2014, with the National Forum, the Republicans and the Free Democrats.

Baramidze said such chances appeared when the Free Democrats quit the coalition in November 2014, but the Republicans were against it.

“We have not had any negotiations neither during our time in the coalition nor after leaving it,” Kakha Shartava, one of the leaders of the National Forum said.

Shartava said Baramidze’s “false statement” could be in connection with a recent appeal of the National Forum, that envisaged close cooperation between pro-Western parties.

“The United National Movement is trying to create a certain precondition for the second round of the elections, though in vain. I must remind you that our proposal did not pertain to negotiations with parties, but with certain individuals who think that something new and powerful must be done through joint efforts,” Shartava said.

In this year's Parliamentary elections, the Free Democrats, the Republicans and the National Forum participated separately from the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party and none of them managed to overcome the minimal 5% threshold.

The UNM will gain 27 seats through proportional voting in the 150-seat legislative body. However, the party has a chance to increase its number in the second round of majoritarian elections scheduled for October 30.

The UNM is participating in 45 majoritarian races out of the total 50.

The party has made appeals to other opposition parties to support them in the second round.

But the parties who were part of the Georgian Dream coalition and claimed the UNM was a “criminal regime” have refrained from such an appeal to their voters.

If what Baramidze said is not true, such statements are more likely to anger the other parties and make them less likely to appeal to their voters to support the UNM.

Even if his statement is true, the UNM is unlikely to find support form parties that united in the GD coalition to defeat the nine-year rule of Saakashvili; their voters will likely be even less inclined to support the UNM.