Five oppositionists vote for candidates to Council of Justice backed by authorities
Opposition and Council of Justice in Georgia
During voting for members of the High Council of Justice, several oppositionists supported candidates from the Georgian Dream and thus helped the ruling party push through the candidate they were backing.
According to Rustavi 2 TV, the five MPs who supported members of the High Council of Justice were Nato and Rostom Chkheidze, Bachuki Kardava, Nika Machutadze and Dilar Khabuliani.
They entered the parliament on the list of the United National Movement – United Opposition, Strength in Unity bloc.
During the voting, part of the opposition left the hall, after which a technical break was announced. The leadership managed to elect three new members to five vacant positions: Tristan Benashvili (93 votes), Giorgi Gzobava (91 votes), Zurab Guraspashvili (93 votes). A quorum required the support of 90 deputies.
It was the number of “yes” votes that caused discontent among opposition deputies. The opposition agreed that it would not support government candidates, although some opposition deputies helped the ruling party elect “their” candidate, MP Roman Gotsiridze said.
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During the voting for members of the High Council of Justice, “several opposition members sided with Georgian Dream and helped elect the candidate they wanted,” Ana Natsvlishvili, a member of the opposition Lelo party, said.
“The topic of electing members of the High Council of Justice is paramount in the EU’s twelve recommendations and requires political consensus. We offered the authorities open negotiations and a political consensus; Georgian Dream did not want this, they wanted to sort things out behind closed doors and made a deal with some oppositionists,” Natsvlishvili said.
Herman Szabo, a member of the opposition Girchi party, says his party and the Citizens’ Party did not vote for candidates to the Council of Justice.
“When the voting began and it became clear that someone from the opposition was participating, Salome Samadashvili [an independent MP, was a member of the opposition United National Movement] shouted: “Let’s get up and leave now, and those who remained in the hall, they will be the ones who votes. And these people got up and left. Only deputies from Girchi, Elisashvili’s [Party of Citizens] and deputy Akubardia did not respond to Salome’s call. But none of them was the one who voted yes,” Szabo wrote on Facebook.
Ana Buchukuri, a member of the For Georgia party, notes that her party has declared its support for two candidates, Sulkhan Saladze and Kakha Tsikarishvili, but has not come to a vote on their candidacy.
“Unfortunately, some from the opposition staged a bidding when the European future of the country is at stake,” Buchukur said.