Lawmaker Davit Chichinadze, who was expelled by the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party in summer for “insulting the members of the GD and damaging the party's image and interests,” has joined Russia-affiliated Alliance of Patriots of Georgia.
Former Majority MP Chichinadze Joins Patriots Alliance
By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 10
As Chichinadze explains, he will stay in the APG faction temporarily, until they find a permanent member, as their party chair, Nato Chkheidze quit the party.
The MP added that he “does not want to see the only real opposition party collapse.”
The APG has left five MPs in the legislative body after Chkheidze left the party. According to the legislation, in order to form a parliamentary faction, it is necessary to have at least six members. So, now that Chichinadze joined the party, they will not lose their faction.
The information was also confirmed by the APG political secretary, Gocha Tevdoradze. According to him, one of the leaders of the party, Irma Inashvili sked Chichinadze to help them and he agreed.
The opposition believes Chichinadze was expelled for being critical and also for protecting former PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili who left the post on June 13 after a disagreement with the GD Chair and founder, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
After Kvirikashvili’s resignation, Chichinadze became more critical and slammed the majority MPs, the government, and asked for early parliamentary elections.
As for Nato Chkheidze, she announced about quitting the faction and becoming an independent parliamentarian last month, saying her teammates did not express solidarity to TV Company Iberia TV, that might close down due to financial problems, which according to Chkheidze, were “artificially created by the ruling party.”
If the APG faction collapsed, it would bring financial damage to the party, because faction members have higher salaries than ordinary MPs. The faction Head has GEL 5,468 per month, while the deputy-head has GEL 4,738. The monthly salary of an average Georgian MP is GEL 4,623.
In addition, the faction has its budget funding, has its own office, the vehicles allocated by the parliament and also has its own business trip fund. When the faction members go on a vacation, they also get bonuses to their salaries.
Moreover, faction members have the right to give more speeches during the parliament session than the regular MPs.