Opposition’s “mixed messages” over Georgia’s EU candidacy “causing concerns” in partners - opposition MP

Khatia Dekanoidze said the EU candidate status was “not an internal matter of any party, but of strengthening Georgia”. Photo: Parliament of Georgia press office 

Agenda.ge, 25 Oct 2023 - 16:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Khatia Dekanoidze, an opposition MP from the Euro Optimists faction in the Georgian Parliament, on Wednesday said she could confirm “mixed messages” from domestic opposition groups over the country’s European Union membership candidate status were “causing concerns” among its foreign partners. 

In her press comments, which came following allegations by Khatuna Samnidze, an opposition MP, against unspecified opposition figures that they were “hampering” the country’s quest for obtaining the status in December, Dekanoidze called claims by a part of the domestic opposition that receiving the status would “strengthen” the current Government “a big mistake”. 

The lawmaker, who quit the position of the Chair of the United National Movement faction - the largest opposition group in the legislative body - earlier this year due to disagreement with the party’s newly elected Chair - noted the topic of Georgia receiving the status had entered a “critical phase”, as the bloc was “not unanimous” over the issue only weeks before the European Commission’s final report on the country’s implementation of outlined conditions in early November. 

It is important at this critical time for everyone to confirm together that Georgia and the Georgian people deserve the status. Partners should receive a joint message from the country”, Dekanoidze said, and added the status was “not an internal matter of any party, but of strengthening Georgia”. 

Following her allegations on Tuesday, Samnidze on Wednesday added unspecified political figures from the domestic opposition were advising Georgia’s European partners behind closed doors to grant the EU membership candidate status to the country only after the 2024 Parliamentary race, which she said was “undermining” the opposition’s message that the country “needs the status”.

Lawmakers from the ruling Georgian Dream party on Wednesday urged Samnidze to provide names of the alleged opposition figures, with GD officials linking UNM, the Lelo opposition party and Nika Gvaramia, the recently pardoned head of the domestic opposition-minded Mtavari TV channel, with identities in the claims.