Several Georgian opposition parties still asking for state funding despite boycott of parliament
Several of the eight opposition parties in Georgia who made it into parliament on October 31 have applied for the state funding afforded to them by the state constitution.
However, all of the parties have refused to take up their mandates in parliament. Whether they will cross the ethically dubious line of then receiving state funding will be up to them.
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Four of the eight opposition groups – two parties and two blocs – have already given their written consent to receive state funding.
These are European Georgia, the United National Movement – Power in Unity bloc (five parties) and Giorgi Vashadze’s Strategy Aghmashenebeli.
At the same time, the parties continue to insist that they do not recognize the results of the elections and their representatives will not work in parliament.
Zurab Melikishvili, a member of the United National Movement, explained this decision by the fact that budget money is the only financial source for parties.
A leader of European Georgia Giorgi Kandelaki said that the party needs budget money to continue its work to oppose the “regime of [oligarch] Ivanishvili.”
Four other opposition parties withdrew from government funding – Girchi, Citizens, Labor, and Lelo.
The leader of libertarian party Girchi, Zurab Japaridze, said that statements claiming that parties need resources to exist, but intend to continue boycotting the parliament are nonsense.
“Then let us clarify what we mean by boycott. After all, the salary of a parliamentarian is also a resource. And the salary of an assistant to an MP is not a resource? But business trips, strengthening international contacts in parliamentary delegations? And parliamentary immunity? And the MP’s office?”
Then let’s admit, Japaridze says ironically, “that boycott means refusal to participate only in lawmaking activities – to not attend meetings and committees committee. And that the resources are meant to ‘defeat Ivanishvili.'”