The Republican Party, a member of the five-party Georgian Dream (GD) ruling coalition, said on March 28 it will announce “in the coming days” whether it will run independently or again in a bloc with GD in the October, 2016 parliamentary elections.
Khatuna Samnidze, chairperson of the party said in a brief written statement without specifying either date of announcement or other details: “The Republican Party’s national committee discussed at a meeting on March 26-27 a form through which the party will run in the 2016 parliamentary elections. We will inform the public about the decision that was taken [at the meeting] in the coming days.”
The announcement is fueling speculation that the Republican Party may opt to run in the 2016 parliamentary elections independently and not in an election bloc with other parties from the GD ruling coalition.
Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili, one of the leaders of the Republican Party, has ruled out party’s immediate withdrawal from the ruling coalition before the elections and said that the decision of the party’s governing body, the national committee, focused only on “the framework” within which it will run in the upcoming elections.
“Republicans are not discussing quitting the coalition; none of the officials [from the Republican Party] is planning to quit cabinet or parliamentary posts. The issue concerns only the framework within which the party will run in the upcoming elections and decision on this issue will be announced in several days,” Usupashvili said in a statement posted on his Facebook page shortly after Samnidze’s announcement on March 28.
Before the formal announcement of the plans, the party leaders and its senior lawmakers, were noncommittal when pressed by journalists on March 28 to specify whether the party will run independently or again on joint ticket with the GD coalition.