Ruling party head says deoligarchisation bill would not be approved without “consensus among radical” opposition, EU, NGOs

  • In his remarks, Kobakhidze stressed the issue required a “consensus of all stakeholders” involved in implementation of the EU conditions. Photo: Georgian Dream Press Office, 21 Sep 2022 - 16:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Wednesday said the bill on deoligarchisation, a draft addressing one of the conditions of the European Union for granting Georgia the membership candidate status, would not be passed by the ruling team if consensus among the nongovernmental sector, the “radical” domestic opposition and the EU was against it.

In his remarks, Kobakhidze stressed the issue required a “consensus of all stakeholders” involved in implementation of the EU conditions.

If there is a consensus around this bill, we will pass it. If there is a consensus around not passing it, then we will not pass this bill. [...] If the radical opposition, the European Union and NGOs agree that the bill [for] deoligarchisation is not to be adopted, we will not adopt it. We are fulfilling the requirements of the European Union. If the European Union is also of the opinion that we should not adopt the law, we will not adopt it”, the GD official said.

In further comments on the domestic opposition’s relation to the bill, Kobakhidze noted “some people” from the opposition parties were “afraid of this bill” as they saw it “endangering certain opposition leaders”.

They admitted that they have oligarch leaders in the opposition, and everyone knows it - [former United National Movement defence minister and private TV channel owner David] Kezerashvili, [TBC Bank founder Mamuka] Khazaradze are ordinary oligarchs. They naturally do not want their leaders to be in danger. Therefore, they are against this law”, he continued.

The party chair also commented on the statement of Pawel Herczynski, the European Union ambassador to Georgia, who on Tuesday said the ruling team’s allegations of a part of domestic opposition and some Ukrainian government officials calling for an opening of the second front of the war in Ukraine in Georgia were ”so absurd that I don't think I should even comment, it's simply pure nonsense”.

Kobakhidze said Georgian authorities offered “moderate” responses to diplomats, before noting the “fact” of the calls for the second front was “clear”.

These are the leaders of the radical opposition [and] high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government - they coordinate with each other [in the objective of Georgia joining the hostilities]. The public knows this, we are talking about it”, he concluded in his comments.