The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party MPs attended their first session in the 10th convocation of the state legislature earlier today after a six-month political standoff.
The UNM, which won 34 of 60 opposition seats in the 150-member parliament in the October 2020 parliamentary elections, decided to enter the state legislature at the end of May 2021, shortly after the majority of Georgian political parties signed the EU-mediated agreement.
The UNM has not signed the agreement so far which resolved the several month-long political tension in the country.
Today, @UNMGeorgia's Political Council decided to take the party's elected seats in the ???????? parliament to work for free and fair elections, much-needed electoral and judicial reforms and policies that keep Georgia on a path toward European & Euro-Atlantic integration.— UNM Georgia (ენმ) (@UNMGeorgia) May 30, 2021
The UNM and other opposition parties claim that the Georgian Dream ruling party fabricated the parliamentary elections and have been demanding repeat elections since November 2020.
The crisis was finally resolved by the involvement of the European Council President Charles Michel who proposed an agreement back in April 2021.
The agreement covers election related issues, including the issue of repeat parliamentary elections and obliges the signatories to participate in large-scale electoral and judicial reforms.
The agreement also proposes the amnesty for the convicts of June 2019 protests in Tbilisi which were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament.
The head of the United National Movement party, Nika Melia is charged with violence during June protests.
UNM Chair @NikaMelia5 is released from prison on bail posted by the EU. Melia was held in pre-trial detention on pol motivated charges for 2 months+. We thank ????????&????????for their continued engagement w/???????? during the pol crisis, and for serving as a beacon for ???????? Western aspirations. pic.twitter.com/UiYRf6RwL0— UNM Georgia (ენმ) (@UNMGeorgia) May 11, 2021
The UNM says that it refused to sign the EU-mediated agreement because of the amnesty note.
They believe that the policemen who violated the law during the protests must not leave prisons.
The amnesty bill submitted by the ruling Georgian Dream party, which says that all convicts for June protests should be released, was scheduled to be voted on in its second reading today.
However, the voting has been postponed per the request of the ruling party MPs.
UNM MP Khatia Dekanoidze says that the ruling party postponed the voting ‘because they are afraid of the UNM.’
Fellow UNM MP Roman Gotsiridze has stated that the party entered the parliament ‘to work’ and that they will support all acceptable bills ‘no matter who proposed them.’
Of course,we will try to block all the bills which will be against people’s interests,” Gotsiridze said.
The UNM faction in parliament with 32 MPs will be chaired by Dekanoidze, while Levan Bezhashvili, Nato Chkheidze and Giorgi Botkoveli will be her deputies.