UNM Entering Parliament ‘Has No Value,’ GD Chair Says
Ruling Georgian Dream party Chair Irakli Kobakhidze said the United National Movement’s recent decision to enter the Parliament “has no value for the functioning” of the legislature.
Slamming the largest opposition party for abstaining to join the EU-brokered April 19 agreement, MP Kobakhidze asserted the UNM “has no resources to contribute positively to the functioning of a democratic system.”
The senior GD lawmaker reckoned the refusal to sign the deal means that UNM “still does not recognize and respect state institutions and our international partners.”
Warning that the UNM’s decision will have “consequences,” MP Kobakhidze said the largest opposition party “will not be able” to participate in any parliamentary groups working on the reforms envisaged by the EU-brokered deal.
The ruling party chair said the UNM will also be prevented from enjoying “privileges” provided by the agreement for the opposition, presumably referring to the parliamentary power-sharing provisions, unless the party agrees to sign the deal “within a reasonable timeframe.”
“I am convinced that UNM, in this case as well, will have to take a step back and sign Michel’s document,” he added.
MP Ana Natsvlishvili of the Lelo for Georgia party said she disagrees with the UNM’s decision abstaining from signing the deal, claiming the points of the agreement automatically affect the UNM, without the party taking any responsibility by signing on.
Strategy Agmashenebli Party MP Paata Manjgladaze also slammed the UNM over “double standards,” noting that the largest opposition party at first fiercely criticized opposition parties that joined the legislature, while now portraying lifting its parliamentary boycott as a “heroic” step.
“I am very sorry that the UNM is making a mistake and not signing the document on the basis of which we agreed and started parliamentary work,” remarked Khatia Samnidze, Republican Party MP, expressing hope that UNM will reconsider its decision.
UNM announced on May 30 it will enter the Georgian Parliament, ending its seven-month-long boycott of the legislature, though will abstain from signing the April 19 deal, presumably due to heated controversies surrounding the amnesty provision of the agreement. In a subsequent joint statement, the EU Delegation and the U.S. Embassy in Georgia expressed concern over UNM’s refusal to sign the deal, albeit welcoming the decision to join the legislature.
This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)