Ruling Party MPs to Convene over Internal Dispute
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Apr.'18 / 18:56

Lawmakers of the ruling Georgian Dream party will convene for a majority group meeting tomorrow to discuss the nearly two-week-long dispute over coordination and decision-making issues in the party and the Parliament.

The disagreement emerged following MP Gedevan Popkhadze’s April 4 announcement that he intended to quit the majority over his opposition to the Parliament’s approval of the candidacy of Ninia Kakabadze.

The dispute intensified as Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze slammed his decision as “a grave insult” to his teammates, with several lawmakers accusing the Speaker and the parliamentary leadership of “hijacking” the party.

The MPs commented on the dispute today as well, with Davit Chichinadze, one of the most vocal critics of Kobakhidze, saying the talks would fail, if parliamentary leaders decided to use sanctions against defiant MPs.

Asked what their response would be, if talks failed, Chichinadze said: “We will sideline them and take the leadership in our hands, and we will be the faces of the Georgian Dream, those who were the party’s faces in 2012.”

MP Gedevan Popkhadze spoke on the forthcoming meeting as well, stressing that they “should be allowed to participate in the political processes entirely, and the decision should be made with the participation of all MPs.”

“I hope, the other side will not focus on the [party] discipline issue, since I believe the only discipline that a lawmaker should comply with, is the country’s and the people’s interests,” Popkhadze emphasized.

The MP also stressed he would welcome ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s involvement in the process. “He has a huge political capital … which is always helpful in finding right solutions in critical situations.”

“What I can concede to considering Bidzina Ivanishvili’s factor, I might not do in another case,” Popkhadze also said.

MP Eka Beselia said she would also welcome the ex-PM’s possible involvement. “Knowing his personal traits and abilities, I think he can play a role in contributing new and positive [dynamics] in every situation.”

MP Mamuka Mdinaradze, who leads the Georgian Dream’s parliamentary faction, commented on the dispute as well, saying there was a “real potential” for “reaching an agreement on common rules of the game.”

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