This party was the member of Georgian Dream coalition for 2012 Parliamentary Elections and holds 8 seats in the eight Parliament of Georgia (2012-2016).
Free Democrats is a political party chaired by Irakli Alasania, Defence Minister of Georgia in 2012-2014 and Georgia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in 2006-2008.
The party was founded in 2009 to be in opposition to the government led by Mikheil Saakashvili and his United National Movement (UNM).
For the 2012 elections, Free Democrats was part of the Georgian Dream coalition that won the election.
In November 2014 the party left the governing coalition after its leader and then-Defence Minister Alasania made ground-shaking statements about the Governing team. At that time Free Democrats had three Cabinet Ministers (Alexi Petriashvili as State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; Thea Tsulukiani as Justice Minister and Alasania as Defence Minister) and one Deputy Minister (David Zalkaliani as Deputy Foreign Minister).
Following the statements, then-Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili dismissed Alasania as Defence Minister. This was followed by two other Free Democrats members, Petriashvili and Zalkaliani also leaving their posts. Then-Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze also left her post and joined Free Democrats shortly after Alasania’s dismissal. Meanwhile Zalkaliani returned to his previous post in January 2016.
Free Democrats will now compete as an individual party at the 2016 parliamentary Elections.
Slogan: "Better Economy, Better Life”
Top priorities of election platform:
- National security;
- Overcoming poverty;
- Democratic development;
- Better drug policy;
- Pension will increase up to GEL 300;
- Minimal salary will be GEL 500;
- Bank interest will not be subject to taxation;
- Intensifying efforts for Georgia’s de-occupation;
- Reaching free-trade agreement with the United States;
- Modern air defence system for Georgian Armed Forces;
- Better social packages for veterans;
- More transparent court system;
- Georgia’s average GDP growth be 8 percent for 2017-2020;
- State budget will increase by, at least, four million during four years;
- Less taxes for business;
- No child will live in poverty by 2020;
- Decriminalisation of using any kind of drug;
- Stricter penalties for drug dealers and distributors;
- Re-prioritising national general educational goals, schools oriented on democratic development;
- Protecting cultural heritage.
Proportional list, top 10:
- Irakli Alasania – Defence Minister of Georgia in 2012-2014, Georgia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in 2006-2008;
- Viktor Dolidze – Member of Parliament, background in law;
- Nino Goguadze – Member of Parliament;
- Zurab Abashidze – Member of Parliament;
- Irakli Chikovani – Member of Parliament;
- Shalva Shavgulidze – Member of Parliament, lawyer;
- Tamar Kekenadze - Executive Secretary of Free Democrats, former official at Defence Ministry;
- Alexi Petriashvili – Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration in 2012-2014;
- Maia Panjikidze – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in 2012-2014;
- Giorgi Tsagareishvili – Member of Parliament.