News

Georgia’s ruling party saves its assumed opponent

by | Feb 13, 2012

Mikheil Machavariani from Georgia's ruling National Movement party confirms that one representative in parliament has left the party. There are negotiations to transfer the delegate to the Christian Democrat party, which is to both parties' mutual benefit, because it will save the current majority-minority arrangement from collapse. (Photo: Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch – In the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the elected assembly’s minority block is in danger of breaking up. So the ruling party is helping them out.

One more member of parliament (MP) from the ruling party has left the party.

Mikheil Machavariani, first Vice Speaker of Parliament, confirmed that Koba Kurdghelashvili has left the party led by President Mikheil Saakashvili, which still holds a constitutional majority.

He told journalists that Petre Tsiskarishvili, parliamentary leader for the National Movement party, spoke to Kurdghelashvili, and the majoritarian representative from Kaspi confirmed that ‘he prefers to continue political life outside the majority.’

Earlier, February 11, it became known that Bezhan Khurtsidze from Vani was excluded from the same party.

Although appearing to reflect a troubled phase for the ruling party, attention has turned instead to where those representatives go next, and to what started it all.

It began with a member of a small faction called Powerful Georgia who left because he thought his group was merely what he called a marionette for the ruling party.

His leaving could have led to the disintegration of what is called the ‘minority’ in parliament through a kind of technical domino effect.

This is due to a complicated set of rules, that basically are such at there are two particularly privileged parts of the elected body; the majority and minority. These are not simply words, but legal terms which give certain rights.

The minority is made up primarily of the Christian Democrat party. But they are not big enough by themselves to qualify as a ‘minority’ in the legal sense, and thus have joined other factions. Among them, Powerful Georgia.

But when the latter lost one of its representatives, it was suddenly in danger of being dissolved, because it fell below six representatives; the minimum number required to be defined as a faction.

Later, the Christian Democrat party transferred one of its representatives to Powerful Georgia, so the whole minority arrangement would not fall apart.

Meanwhile, the National Movement excluded one of its MPs, Bezhan Khurtsidze, and when one of their delegates, Kurdghelashvili, now leaves, this posed another threat to the mathematical balance.

The reason is that the rules for parliament, which have the power of law, say that in order to be recognized as a minority faction, the group must have at least half of the representatives who are not from the majority. Since two representatives have left the majority, that threshold has increased.

But it looks likely that a deal will be struck between the ruling party and the second largest party, the Christian Democrats, which will allow the country to continue under its current majority-minority arrangement.

Levan Vepkhvadze, representative of the Christian Democrats, confirms that there were negotiations with Kurdghelashvili to transfer him to the minority, but says it is not yet confirmed whether there is agreement on the issue.



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