National Forum party leader quits, vows to support ‘big, opposition unity’

Gubaz Sanikidze said he would be involved in the creation of a “big opposition unity.” Photo by, 11 Nov 2016 - 14:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

One of the leaders of the National Forum political party, ex-vice Parliament Speaker Gubaz Sanikidze has quit the party he helped establish and belonged to for the past 10 years.

Today Sanikidze announced he had quit the political party but would remain in politics and keep fighting for the people of Georgia.

Sanikidze said he would support the creation of a "big opposition unity”, after National Forum failed to gain enough votes in last month’s Parliamentary Elections of Georgia to enter Parliament. 

I believe a big part of the opposition made a mistake in terms of the Elections [and] we must study the reasons of our failure,” Sanikidze said. 
Looking forward I will be actively involved in forming a big opposition unity,” he added. 

Sanikidze stressed he would not cooperate with the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, or the main opposition party United National Movement (UNM). 

He did not exclude cooperating with the former leader of the Republican Party, ex-Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili or with the leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party Nino Burjanadze, also a former Speaker of Parliament.  

Sanikidze's decision to leave the National Forum party was not a surprise to his fellow party members.

Another founder and leader of the National Forum party Kakha Shartava said Sanikidze’s decision was agreed within the party and served the aim voiced by the National Forum shortly after the October Parliamentary Elections, referring to the need to create a new, pro-western, opposition political unit. 

The National Forum was established in 2006 by an initiative of Shartava, a former diplomat. 

The party was a member of the Georgian Dream coalition established by ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for the 2012 Parliamentary Elections to defeat the nine-year rule of the United National Movement however National Forum quit the coalition and decided to participate alone in this year’s Parliamentary Elections.