Democratic Movement opposition party, led by ex-parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze, is putting neutral “non-bloc status” for Georgia at the heart of its election campaign ahead of the October 8 parliamentary polls.
“We believe that a clause should be added to the Georgian constitution, which would stipulate non-bloc status for Georgia,” she said on June 30, adding that her party will start collecting citizens’ signatures to prepare the bill.
“It means that Georgia should reject joining any kind of military bloc be it NATO or any other military alliance. There should be no troops of any foreign country or a bloc on the Georgian soil,” she said,
“I am convinced that many people will cast ballot for [the Democratic Movement party] in the October 8 parliamentary elections and they will give us mandate to put in practice this constitutional amendment,” she added.
Support of at least 113 MPs is required for any constitutional amendment to be passed by the 150-seat parliament.
Burjanadze, who has visited Russia for talks with Russian officials for three times over the past year, also said that her party will campaign “door-by-door to explain people what this initiative means.”
“This is a bold initiative for which there will be a lot of mudslinging in our direction, but we are not afraid,” she said.
She also said that the Georgian “authorities and significant part of country’s political elite act pursuant to NATO and the U.S. interests, instead of Georgia’s interests.”
“Time has come for a political force, which acts pursuant to its own country’s interests, to come into power,” Burjanadze said. “Georgia should no longer be a shooting range of two super powers.”
According to a public opinion survey, fielded by CRRC in March, 2016 for the U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI), 68% of Georgian respondents said they approve government’s stated goal to join NATO; 19% - disapproved.