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Gubaz Sanikidze quits his party

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, November 15
One of the leaders and founders of the National Forum opposition political party, ex-Vice Parliament Speaker Gubaz Sanikidze, has announced he has quit the party he belonged to for 10 years.

Sanikidze stressed he did not intend to leave politics, and vowed to support the creation of a “big opposition unity” after the National Forum failed to overcome the mandatory 5% threshold in last month’s parliamentary elections.

“I believe a big part of the opposition made a mistake in terms of the elections; we must study the reasons of the failure,” Sanikidze said.

“I will be actively involved in the formation of a big opposition unity,” Sanikidze added.

He stressed he wouldn’t cooperate with the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia and the opposition United National Movement parties.

However, he didn’t exclude cooperation with former leader of the Republican Parry, ex-Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili, and the leader of the opposition Democratic Movement-United Georgia, also ex-Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze.

A key founder and a leader of the National Forum, Kakha Shartava, said Sanikidze’s decision was agreed within the party and served the aim voiced by the party shortly after the October parliamentary elections, referring to the creation of a new, pro-Western political unity.

The National Forum was established in 2006 through the initiative of former diplomat Shartava.

The party was a member of the Georgian Dream coalition established by ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivansihvili for the 2012 Parliamentary Elections to defeat the nine-year rule of the United National Movement, but participated alone in this year’s parliamentary race due to the split of the coalition.

Usupashvili, who also quit the Republican Party after the elections and announced his wish to create a new, pro-Western political faction, has responded to Sanikidze’s statement, saying it was more likely he and Sanikidze “to continue serving the country from a different political flank”.

Analysts believe it is unlikely that Sanikidze will be able to coordinate the creation of any worthy political force.

They believe the opposition lost a chance to unite for the October elections and take seats in the Parliament.

As analyst Gia Khukhashvili said, “It is unlikely that several dead political bodies will be able to create one live organism,”.

He stressed it would be regrettable if Usupashvili quit Georgian politics, but said he would need a charismatic individuals around him to attract electorate.

It is true that the opposition had a chance to gain seats in the legislative body, but as it generally happens in Georgia, they failed to do this without a single distinguished charismatic leader, like Georgian Dream coalition founder Bidzina Ivanishvili in 2012.

After the recent elections, many key figures of the opposition quit their parties, naming the need for renewal in their parties or the creation of a new political force as their reasons.

There is a room in Georgia for a new political party, but it is unlikely those people who already lost their chances would be trusted again by the voters.