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Ruling party executive secretary names UNM’s ‘satellites’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, May 13
The executive secretary of the ruling Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party says a fund established by famous Georgian opera singer Paata Burchuladze is a ‘satellite’ of the opposition United National Movement (UNM).

GDDG Executive Secretary Irakli Kobakhidze said one of the examples of the cooperation was naming a joint majoritarian candidate by the UNM and Burchuladze’s Georgia’s Development Fund for May 22 by-elections in the eastern Ozurgeti region.

“The UNM and the Georgian Development Fund are planning the candidate’s pre-election campaign together to ensure that the nominee will win the race,” Kobakhidze said.

However, Kobakhidze claimed the candidate had no chance in Ozurgeti as the GDDG party enjoys a bigger number of voters in the area.

Kobakhidze also said the Free Democrats and the Labour Party were also ‘closely cooperating’ with the UNM, which ran the country for nine years until it was defeated by the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition in the 2012 parliamentary race.

Fund representatives said the Georgian Dream party is afraid of the growing political rating of Burchaladze ahead of parliamentary elections planned for October 8.

The Fund dismissed any links with the UNM regarding the Ozurgeti by-elections and the majoritarian nominee.

Meanwhile, Burchuladze himself made a statement on May 12 and said he has officially started his political career and intended to establish a political organization with the name ‘State for People’.

Burcguladze stressed that successive Georgian governments have failed to create worthy conditions for their citizens and the country required a new force that would provide benefits for its people.

Burchuladze also spoke about the importance of ending ‘informal rule’ in Georgia, allegedly referring to the founder of the Georgian Dream coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Burchuladze founded the Georgian Development Fund in November 2015 with the aim to help locals, as according to him the current government consistently fails to settle the problems of its citizens.

Many speculated that the Fund would be transformed into a political organization before the October 8 parliamentary race, expectations which have proved accurate.

Before the official statement about entering politics, Burchuladze was actively meeting with voters and opened regional branches of the Fund.