Burchuladze’s Party Mulls Forming Election Bloc
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Aug.'16 / 09:49

An election bloc of NPC-Girchi, New Georgia and New Rights Party, which was formed two weeks ago, has offered opera singer Paata Burchuladze and his State for People party to team up for upcoming elections and to lead a broader union of “pro-Western political forces”.
State for People, which was launched by Burchuladze in May, welcomed the proposal and responded that it would consider it.

Irakli Kipiani of the State for People told Tbilisi-based TV Pirveli that the proposal was a “pleasant surprise.” But rumors about talks being held between these parties had been swirling even before the election bloc New Choice, which unites NPC-Girchi, New Georgia and New Rights Party, made its proposal to Burchuladze in a televised statement on Wednesday evening.
New Political Center-Girchi and New Georgia, which were launched by former UNM lawmakers, as well as New Rights Party announced about forming an electoral bloc to run on the joint ticket in the October 8 parliamentary elections.

“We see that Paata Burchuladze enjoys with high public confidence and reputation within and outside the country,” said MP Giorgi Vashadze, who formed his New Georgia party after quitting UNM opposition party in May. “We believe that he has all the resources to unite around him pro-Western political forces and to create a powerful pro-Western center.”

“We believe in the need of uniting pro-Western political forces,” said MP Zurab Japaridze, who launched his NPC-Girchi after quitting UNM in May, 2015. “Today pro-Western parties should be looking for common ground, not differences between each other.”

Mamuka Katsitadze, the leader of the New Rights Party, said that he considers Burchuladze, whom he described as an “influential political heavyweight”, as a “spine” of a potential new political unity of pro-Western forces.

NDI/CRRC poll, fielded in June, showed that that the three parties in the New Choice bloc were far from the 5% threshold, required for a party to endorse its members in the Parliament through party-list contest. According to the same poll, the State for People had 4% support among the likely voters. More than third of likely voters were undecided which party they would vote for and 13% refused to answer, according to the same poll.

Deadline for political parties to form an election bloc to run on the joint ticket in the October 8 parliamentary elections expires on August 26.

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