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Georgian Dream annuls April 19 Agreement

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, July 29
On Wednesday, ruling Georgian Dream party chair Irakli Kobakhidze announced the EU-brokered April 19 Agreement as annulled, citing that the document ‘had fulfilled its mission’ and ‘exhausted itself ’ 100 days after signing as the majority of opposition parties refrained from joining the document. As he stated, by annulling the agreement, the political processes in the country will continue following the constitutional order.

Kobakhidze thanked European Council President Charles Michel for his efforts and support and stated that the agreement positively affected the development of political processes in the short run and ‘forced the radical opposition to stop sabotage against state interests’.

Kobakhdze accused opposition parties of non-fulfillment of the agreement. According to him, the United National Movement, the party which won the most opposition seats in parliament, refused to sign the deal and the other opposition parties were consistently violating the document. As he remarked, the ruling party was the only side that was fulfilling the agreement.

“Although more than half of the opposition MPs have not yet signed the agreement, we can see that our international partners do not find it necessary to strongly urge the radical opposition to sign the document and participate in its implementation,” GD party chair noted. “Single-sided royalty to the agreement is insulting to our party and our voters will not tolerate such an unprincipled behavior from us,” He added.

Kobakhidze noted that holding municipal elections under the EU-mediated agreement, while the major opposition party refused to sign it ‘would be harmful to Georgia’s interests.’

“In this situation, there is no alternative to annulling the EU-mediated agreement,” said Kobakhidze.

According to him, the ruling party is ready to ‘express goodwill’ and call snap elections even if the Georgian Dream party receives 53% in the municipal elections, instead of 43%, as proposed in the EU-mediated agreement.

“We will do so if the opposition parties show us with their actions that our political system is ripe enough for an effective coalition governance and such a regime will not harm the state interests,” he noted.

Kobakhidze also said that even after the annulment of the agreement, reforms proposed by the document will still be carried out.

The Ruling party’s decision has received backlash from the opposition. Several opposition leaders have urged opposition MPs to give up their mandates and the Lelo opposition party has stated that they might boycott the upcoming municipal elections. According to Mamuka Khazaradze, Chairman of Political Union Lelo for Georgia, ‘GD has betrayed our Western partners, the Georgian people, peace, and stability.

Leader of opposition party Girchi - More Freedom Zurab Japaridze has left parliament, stating that the agreement was his reason for entering the state legislature. Japaridze believes that the ruling party’s decision is equivalent to the ‘rejection of this country’s Euro-Atlantic future.’ According to him, the reason behind GD’s decision is that the ruling party knows they will not be able to take 43 percent of votes in the municipal elections.

18 local civil society organizations have released a statement, saying that the decision ‘constitutes a straightforward rejection of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic course and the peaceful development of the country through democratic reforms’.

The ruling party and the opposition signed the agreement proposed by European Council President Charles Michel after 6 months of political deadlock following the 2020 parliamentary elections. The agreement has not been signed by the United National Movement’s bloc, Alliance of Patriots, European Georgia, and Labor party.