How will Free Democrats actions affect Parliament’s distribution of power?

President: “One month is enough to consider who will have ‘key’ or direct access to the surveillance.”, 07 Nov 2014 - 17:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Seven members of the Free Democrats political party today announced they will leave the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition in Parliament. This decision was made at today’s fraction session.

Meanwhile two members of the fraction Gela Samkharauli and Gia Japaridze decided to stay with the GD coalition while another member Gedevan Popkhadze will make a decision to stay or go at the end of the day.

UPDATED: 20:30  Georgian Dream party and fraction member MP Shalva Shavgulidze said he leaves                                  GD to join Free Democrats party and fraction. 

                    18:30 Gedevan Popkhadze decided to stay in the GD coalition.

Will the decision of the Free Democrats to leave the GD coalition affect Parliament’s distribution of power?

Constitution expert and head of the Judicial Committee of Parliament Vakhtang Khmaladze assessed the Free Democrats exit from the majority and believed whatever the outcome, Parliament would work as usual.

Khmaladze believed the exit of the Free Democrats from the majority would not create a crisis.

"The most that can happen is that a union having the status of majority will not exist,” he said.

"There will be very close cooperation with the Free Democrats fraction. I mean not only with the Republican fraction, which is ideologically close to the Free Democrats, but also with other fractions,” he noted.

The Parliament’s majority can be created by a fraction or a group of fractions who make up more than half of all Members of Parliament (MPs). Georgia’s Parliament has 150 members, which means a fraction should have at least 76 members to make a majority.

Until now, the GD coalition was represented by 83 members out of whom 10 were Free Democrats. After seven members of Free Democrats left the coalition, GD now only has 75 members – one seat less than needed to hold the majority.

In addition, today the ruling coalition held consultations with the so-called six independent majoritarians, who previously left United National Movement and do not belong to any political party.

These MPs might join GD, which would ensure the coalition did not lose its Parliamentary majority status.