Democratic Movement-United Georgia (DMUG), led by Nino Burjanadze, and Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), which are two non-parliamentary opposition parties, have announced about teaming up ahead of the June 15 local elections.
The announcement made this week came after founder and chairman of CDM, Giorgi Targamadze, said on March 15 that he is quitting party leadership and politics; Targamadze distanced himself from political activities immediately after the 2013 presidential election in which he garnered only 1.06% of votes.
“We are in intensive talks with non-parliamentary opposition representatives because we… should be focused on setting up a strong [opposition] force and not only for the upcoming local elections,” Burjanadze said in an interview with the Georgian daily, Rezonansi, published on March 21.
Burjanadze, who received 10.19% of votes in 2013 presidential election, said that non-parliamentary opposition should direct its efforts towards creation of a political force that will serve as an alternative to both the Georgian Dream ruling coalition and the United National Movement. Burjanadze suggested that strong non-parliamentary opposition is not in GD’s interest because the ruling coalition finds it much easier to operate in a political landscape where UNM is the major opposition force.
Burjanadze said that precise shape of possible broader unity of non-parliamentary opposition parties has to be determined as a result of ongoing consultations, which, she expects, will be over within a week.
Burjanadze said that this unity should be kept beyond local elections as well.
She also said that discussions at the moment are focused on creating broader coalition and not on selecting a mayoral candidate for Tbilisi; this latter issue will be discussed only after consultations on possible broader coalition are over, she said.
Teaming up with CDM in an election bloc will give DMUG access to some of the benefits during the election campaign enjoyed by so called “qualified” parties – these are those parties, which won at least 3% of the vote by running either separately or in a bloc with other parties in the most recent parliamentary or local elections. CDM falls in this category making it eligible to free airtime for political TV ads during the campaign period.