Less than couple of hours after one lawmaker announced about quitting Free Democrats and staying in the Georgian Dream coalition, giving the latter enough number of seats to retain majority in the parliament, another MP declared about intention to quit GD and move to Free Democrats faction, leaving the ruling coalition without enough lawmakers to keep the formal majority group.
MP Shalva Shavgulidze, deputy chairman of legal affairs committee, told journalists after a meeting of the parliamentary majority lawmakers with PM Irakli Garibashvili late on Friday evening that he is quitting GD and joining ex-defense minister Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats party.
MP Shavgulidze’s announcement leaves GD with 75 seats –the largest group in the Parliament, but one seat short of threshold required for having a formal parliamentary majority group.
GD MP from Industrialist Party, Zurab Tkemaladze, said after the meeting of parliamentary majority group with the PM, that GD will retain the majority despite of MP Shavgulidze’s decision.
“Majority will be retained, even if more [MPs] quit [GD],” Tkemaladze said without elaborating details. There have been reports recently that GD was in talks with some independent lawmakers over cooperation if the GD faces threat of losing majority.
GD MP from the Republican Party, Tina Khidasheli, said the ruling coalition will not lose the majority, adding that there about dozen of lawmakers, who are ready to join the parliamentary majority group.
Before MP Shavgulidze’s announcement, MP Gedevan Popkhadze, deputy chairman of human rights committee, said on Friday evening that he was quitting the Free Democrats party and staying in the GD coalition. Free Democrats quit the ruling coalition after its leader Irakli Alasania was sacked from the defense minister’s post.
All these recent changes in the Parliament have yet to be formally registered through relevant procedures, expected early next week.
Later on November 7 parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said that there are several independent lawmakers, who are not now members of any faction, who are ready to join the parliamentary majority group.