Lawmakers from the New Rights Party said on March 10 they were going on hunger strike to demand that the authorities meet opposition demands outlined in the January 29 memorandum.
Six lawmakers from the New Rights Party are on hunger strike: Davit Gamkrelidze, Mamuka Katsitadze, Davit Saganelidze, Davit Ujmajuridze, Vakho Karseladze and Lasha Narchemashvili.
“We are launching a hunger strike in the reception area of Parliamentary Chairperson [Nino Burjanadze inside the parliament building],” MP Pikria Chikhradze of the New Rights Party told reporters. “We want the authorities to meet the demands outlined in the opposition memorandum… to secure genuinely free and fair parliamentary elections. Unfortunately we have no other lever to influence the authorities, so the [New Rights parliamentary] faction, which has always been constructive and consistent in its policies, has decided to resort to this radical form of protest.”
She was speaking with journalists outside Burjanadze’s office in the parliament. Shortly before this, MP Davit Gamkrelidze, the New Rights Party leader, demanded that Burjanadze immediately hold “a public meeting” in the presence of journalists to discuss the issues outlined in the opposition memorandum.
MP Irina Kurdadze, a spokesperson for Burjanadze, told the Georgian Public Broadcaster that the parliamentary chairperson would meet MP Gamkrelidze and other lawmakers from the New Rights Party at 4pm that day.
“I am surprised by this move of the New Rights Party,” MP Kurdadze said. “Nino Burjanadze has a schedule and she was holding pre-arranged meetings when Mr. Gamkrelidze and other lawmakers from his party came in to [Burjanadze’s office and demanded a meeting]. It was impossible to cancel the pre-arranged meetings… Mr. Gamkrelidze was told that Mrs. Burjanadze would meet him at 4 pm so it is not clear to us why our colleagues are launching a hunger strike.”