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Republicans ex-party members will work in new Gov’t

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze and Mariam Chanishvili
Thursday, November 10
A member of the Republican opposition party, which failed to overcome the mandatory 5% threshold in the October parliamentary elections of Georgia, claim those people who have quit the party in the wake of the race will take posts in the executive Government.

Member of the Republican Party David Zurabishvili stressed that several key figures of the party who left the Republicans last month had no contact with the party at the moment.

Zurabishvili was referring to constitutionalist Vakhtang Khmaladze, Deputy Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure Tengiz Shergelashvili, ex-Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality Paata Zakareishvili, ex-Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli and ex-Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili.

All the former party members said they quit the party “due to controversies which emerged after the elections”.

“Those who are still in the party will continue political activities. I am sure the former members will be in public service. We will have relations with them, but not political. We are thinking about a serious renovation and reform within the party,” Zurabishvili said.

Zurabishvili stressed the most recent Parliamentary Elections revealed the Republican Party needed reforming.

From the people who left the party, David Usupashvili said he planned to set up a new political party that would have a chance to win the 2020 Parliamentary Elections.

Usupashvili excluded the possibility of his appointment in any judicial or executive positions under the Georgian Dream leadership.

Howver, Zakareishvili, who also made a comment after the elections, said he did not exclude cooperating with the Georgian Dream authorities.

The Republican Party is one of oldest political parties in Georgia, which appeared in Parliament in 2012 when the Georgian Dream coalition, formed by billionaire ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.

This year, the coalition split, and the Republicans participated independently in the elections.