TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Movement continues to lose members in the Tbilisi City Council, but still controls a majority of seats.
Zura Gachechiladze, known as Shonzo, on Friday left the National Movement and joined the alternative Freedom faction.
After Gachechiladze left, the National Movement has 29 seats left in the council, out of 47 seats in total. The other factions are Freedom, now with seven members, Georgian Dream Tbilisi – three members, Georgian Dream Tbilisians – three members, and Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia – five members.
Irakli Shikhiashvili, head of the Freedom faction said at a press conference Friday that Zurab Gachehciladze made this decision to join their faction on his own.
“People want a fair, balanced government in the city. So all smart, honorable people who feel responsibility toward their people will part with the National Movement,” he said.
Gachechiladze is out of the city at the moment, but will comment when he returns, he added.
Shikhiashvili said the main reason for his decision was the street violence outside the National Library on February 8.
Also in parliament, the National Movement has been losing delegates after its election defeat in October, 2012. The opposition claims this is a result of pressure and violence from the Georgian Dream coalition, aimed at forcing them to vote for a set of constitutional amendments that the coalition does not have enough votes to pass on its own. So far, nine parliamentarians have left the National Movement factions in parliament.