Leader of opposition coalition Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has challenged ruling United National Movement (UNM) party’s chairman, President Saakashvili, to televised debates ahead of the October 1 parliamentary elections.
If Saakashvili fails to participate, Ivanishvili told journalists on August 20, that he would sit down with several representatives of the ruling party in TV debates.
“There are two major political forces – our coalition and the [United] National Movement, led by the President… So I challenge Mikheil Saakashvili to TV debates anytime, in any situation and in any format; that would be logical,” Ivanishvili said.
“If Mikheil Saakashvili won’t be able [to participate in the debates], I can [debate] with representatives of the authorities – I won’t sit down with one representative; they can [send] five or even more than seven representatives from parliament and government,” he added.
Ivanishvili also said that his coalition would not participate in debates with representatives from Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM); New Rights and Labor Party, denouncing them as “false opposition”.
“If they want to meet me [in TV debates], I will agree, but with one condition – they should admit that they represent the authorities and in that case we will sit down with them for debates. But we will not sit down with the false opposition,” he said.