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Free Democrats & Republicans union for local elections fails

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 14
Two non-parliamentary opposition parties, the Republicans and the Free Democrats, who came to power within the Georgian Dream coalition via the 2012 parliamentary elections, failed to create an election bloc for the upcoming local elections in the autumn.

The two parties, which failed to gain any seats in the 150-member legislative body after the 2016 parliamentary elections, quit the Georgian Dream coalition different times-the Free Democrats in 2014 and the Republicans in 2016.

Both of the parties ,who are pro-western in their aims, faced serious problems after the last year’s elections, with many influential members leaving the parties.

After the failure of the union the Free Democrats, which was once chaired by ex-Defence Minister Irakli Alasania, made a decision not to participate in the local elections at all.

The Republicans will run in the race.

Speaking about the bloc’s failure a leader of Free Democrats Shalva Shavgulidze did not name definite reasons, saying ‘there were many details, dependent neither on Republicans nor on Free Democrats, which played against the union.”

Shavgulidze admitted that unsuccessful negotiation with Tbilisi City Council’s independent member, Aleko Elisashvili, over Tbilisi Mayoral post was “one of the components that negatively influenced on the unification process.

Elisashvili, who is described as one of the strongest candidates for the position, is running as an independent candidate for Tbilisi Mayor’s post, as he avoided affiliation with any political group.

It is regrettable that Georgian opposition nearly always fail to merge their forces in a critical moment, which generally leads in favour of a ruling party .

People in Georgia always complain about obsession with certain politicians, to whom people vote and not to political parties and their election programs.

In 2003 and in the following years such person was Georgia’s third President Mikheil Saakashvili, who managed to unite several groups against his processor’s leadership.

In 2012 billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili managed to merge the opposition against Saakashvili.

As it appears Georgian opposition parties still require a leader to unite them, which speaks only negatively about the political parties and people in general.