The parliamentary bureau approved on December 27 the formation of two new parliamentary factions within the Georgian Dream majority, increasing the total number of ruling party factions to eight.
A total of 18 majoritarian lawmakers from the 116-member parliamentary majority joined the two factions, with eleven of them forming the Georgian Dream-For Strong Economy faction and the remaining seven lawmakers establishing the Georgian Dream-For Strong Georgia faction.
The Georgian Dream-For Strong Economy will be led by Gocha Enukidze. Other members of the faction are: Irakli Kakhubia, Paata Mkheidze, Otar Danelia, Ivliane Tsulaia, Goderdzi Chankseliani, Tamaz Naveriani, Irakli Shiolashvili, Edisher Toloraia, Giorgi Totladze, and Ioseb Makrakhidze.
The second faction - the Georgian Dream-For Strong Georgia - will be chaired by Bidzina Gegidze and its members are: Zaza Papuashvili, Levan Gogichaishvili, Koba Kobaladze, Giorgi Kopadze, Koba Nakaidze, and Irakli Abuseridze.
Reports that the parliamentary majority was considering establishing additional factions appeared on December 15. Media outlets said then that the reshuffle was linked to internal disagreements within the ruling party, as well as a recent row between Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Giorgi Gachechiladze, a singer and a TV personality. Ruling party representatives denied the reports, saying the purpose of the change was to make the work of the majority more effective.
The Georgian Dream parliamentary majority, which consists of 115 lawmakers, united six factions until now. The Georgian Dream and the Georgian Dream-Industrialists factions were established at the new parliament’s inaugural session on November 18, 2016. The Georgian Dream-Conservatives, the Georgian Dream-Social-Democrats and the Georgian Dream for Regional Development were established later, on December 26. The sixth parliamentary faction – the Georgian Dream-Greens - was established on January 23.
Parliamentary faction is a group of at least six MPs, which gives certain privileges to its members, involving a seat and right to vote in the parliament’s bureau (the body which determines the parliamentary sessions’ agenda), guaranteed seats in committees, investigative and other ad hoc commissions and parliamentary delegations, as well as allocation of more time during debates and discussions in the Parliament.