Irakli Alasania’s party Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) has rejected a proposal by its two partners from Alliance for Georgia to have consultations with all the opposition parties, except of ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli’s party, on selecting a single opposition candidate for Tbilisi mayoral race.
On February 17, leaders of New Rights and Republican parties, Davit Gamkrelidze and Davit Usupashvili, respectively, convened a press conference and announced that they were ready to engaged in consultations based on a formula “all minus one” – referring to Nogaideli’s Movement for Fair Georgia.
Usupashvili and Gamkrelidze made the joint statement solely on behalf of their respective parties, although, according to the New Rights Party, it was pre-agreed with Irakli Alasania. The statement was made in response to Alasania’s announcement on February 15 that he wanted to engage in talks on creation of a broad opposition alliance to secure victory in the May local elections. Alasania is Alliance for Georgia’s candidate in the Tbilisi mayoral race, but his and his partners’ statements indicated that they might compromise on the matter.
Few hours after the joint statement by New Rights and Republican parties was released, Zurab Abashidze, chair of OGFD governing body convened a separate press conference to announce that the party was ready to have consultations with “all the political parties.”
Asked directly if OGFD would also like to have consultations with Nogaideli’s party, Abashidze responded: “With everyone.”
He, however, also said that it in no way meant that the Alliance was splitting.
“No threat of [split] poses to the Alliance. Efforts will continue to achieve a broad [opposition] unity,” Abashidze said. “Our position remains unchanged: we should get united; change of these authorities is inevitable. We will continue cooperation with all the political forces.”