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Khazaradze initiates the formation of a shadow coalition government

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, July 21
The leader of the party Lelo for Georgia Mamuka Khazaradze is initiating the formation of a coalition. According to him, due to the current situation, the opposition forces should start consultations on the formation of a shadow coalition government, as well as the candidate for Prime Minister. He named one condition - an agreement must be reached that in the next government, law enforcement ministers will not be nominated by the National Movement party, which was ruling the country before Georgian Dream in 2003-2012. He suggested the professionals from civil society for such positions instead.

“If the opposition can do that, then the current dream government will change and the country will embark on an irreversible path of rapid reforms and European integration,” Khazaradze wrote.

According to the representative of Lelo, Saba Buadze, opening a discussion on this topic is essential to ensure that public expectations are met; there are no specific ultimatums on their part and the opposition needs to agree on a coalition model that will restore the public confidence in the process.

Buadze says there must be an agreement reached for elections on what the configuration will be and on what principles the future opposition coalition will be based, for voters to see who is donating to a country that will be a member of this coalition.

Lelo representative also clarified the party’s position on law enforcement ministers being from the civil sector: “There are two reasons for this - irrational fears, which are more agitated by the Georgian Dream, and among them the experience that we had during the National Movement in power, which may create certain fears and threats for the population.”

MP from Georgian Dream and Chairman of the Self-Government Committee of the Georgian Parliament, Sozar Subari, responded to Khazaradze’s statement, doubting the unification of the opposition, saying that this initiative is 'playing government'. The opposition can form as many shadow/basement governments as they please, but they "will continue to run the country." According to Subari, if they want to take part in running the country, there is a parliament, where they have representation and can participate constructively - ‘inclusion is good for the country and for democracy.’ He reminded that the parliament is not the place for debauch, but rather for working on bills, staffing the Central Election Commission, and judicial reforms.

Khatia Dekanoidze, Chairman of the United National Movement - United Opposition Power is in Unity - responded to Khazaradze's initiative, saying the condition on law enforcement ministers is conceptually incorrect and outdated because no political force should be in the hands of law enforcement agencies, including small parties.

Girchi MP Iago Khvichia believes that Lelo's initiative regarding the coalition will provoke further conflict in the opposition. Even though Girchi doesn't see perspective at this moment, the party doesn’t rule out the prospect of consultations and communication. As for the National Movement, he said that it will take more to rebuild the trust towards that party.

Another parliamentary opposition party, Citizens representative Aleko Elisashvili called on Lelo to avoid inappropriate arrogance and discuss such ideas collegially before the press conference. According to him, Lelo can not imagine anything in the world without the National Movement, including the coalition.

According to him, the party Citizens rules out a coalition with the National Movement.

Vice-Speaker of the Parliament Levan Ioseliani says Lelo wants to start a no-confidence motion, adding he will not be joining it.

"I do not take it seriously to stand up today and participate in the distribution of ministerial portfolios when there is no possibility of ending the no-confidence motion. It will be a disappointment for the citizens. I do not participate in shadow cabinets. It is unfortunate that I hear proposals like Lelo from the media.”