Opposition UNM wants seats in Parliament, will participate in election runoff

Davit bakradze, number one on UNM party list. Photo: United National Movement/Facebook
Agenda.ge, 12 Oct 2016 - 12:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

Opposition party United National Movement (UNM) has decided not to boycott the second round of the October 8 Parliamentary Elections.

UNM will participate in the election runoff and will also take up the seats in Parliament the party won through proportional party lists.

UNM made this decision at a party meeting late last evening and announced the news today.

David Bakradze, number one on UNM's party list, said after the meeting UNM had decided to continue its fight.

In this situation where UNM is in fact the only pro-Western opposition force, we cannot let [ex-Prime Minister and Founder of ruling Georgian Dream party Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s regime create a single-party system."
That’s why we decided that despite unequal conditions, falsifications and pressure […], we will continue to fight.”

Bakradze added UNM would use all tribunes including Parliament, as well as rallies and their contacts abroad to maintain oppositional opinion in Georgia.

Party member Sergi Kapanadze said this decision was agreed by an overwhelming majority of the party’s political council.

Earlier UNM criticised the legitimacy of the October 8 Parliamentary Election results and said UNM might boycott the second round of voting.

This came after Georgia’s ex-president and UNM leader Mikheil Saakashvili published a video address from Ukraine saying he thought UNM majoritarian candidates should not participate in a runoff.

Saakashvili said he did not believe a second round would change anything.

UNM gained 27.11 percent of votes in the proportional elections and a large number of the party’s candidates were due to participate in the second round of the majoritarian race.