Ruling GD Expels MP Chichinadze from Party for “Disrespecting” Teammates

Georgia’s ruling party, Georgian Dream (GD), which has the supermajority in the 150-member parliament with its 116 MPs, has expelled member and MP Davit Chichinadze for “making unethical statements and disrespecting his teammates.”

Chichinadze made acute and critical statements towards the majority, slamming the government, a number of the implemented or planned reforms, and even reiterating many times the necessity to hold snap elections. It is known he did not like the Parliament Chair, Irakli Kobakhidze, who represents the leader of the young wing of the GD.

“Parliament, chaired by Kobakhidze, has a low rating. We, the MPs, have to stand against such a person,” Chichinadze said two days ago.

The information of Chichinadze’s dismissal has already been published on the GD website.

“Over the last several months, Chichinadze made many public statements in which he insulted members of the GD political team and damaged the party's image and interests. Davit Chichinadze has repeatedly violated party discipline and universally recognized moral and ethical norms,” the statement reads.

The statement underlines that internal party democracy and freedom of expression are the guidelines for Georgian Dream.

“All members of the party can express critical opinions on various positions. However, insulting teammates, violating moral and ethical principles and damaging the political team image go beyond all the limits of freedom of expression. Thus, the Secretariat of the GD unanimously decided to expel Davit Chichinadze from the party,” the statement on GD Facebook page reads.

The decision lead to internal disagreement inside the majority as some members supported Chichinadze and accused the party of acting like the “communists.”

MP Gedevan Popkhadze says it is not natural for everyone to have the same position within the majority.

“If GD wants everyone to have the same mindset within the party, they’d better rename it and call it the Communist Union or Communist Party. I wonder why they really expelled Chichinadze. They should give us more explanations,” Popkhadze stated, expressing solidarity to the former teammate.

Popkhadze was responded to by GD MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili, who said that if he calls GD a “communist party,” he should quit.

“A group of MPs wants to attract attention by their leaving the party. It is their attempt at gaining popularity,” Kutsnashvili stated.

Vice-Speaker of the Parliament, Tamar Chugoshvili says Chichinadze's statements created an “unhealthy environment” within the parliamentary majority and accordingly, the party secretariat made a decision to expel him.

“There are certain formal rules in the party and it is necessary to maintain these minimal standards for the unity of the team. There was a series of insults and we tried for months to work with Davit but he chose this way. He can continue to oppose us as an opposition member, if he wishes,” she added.

Chichinadze claims he is not going to quit politics. He says he was speaking about real problems in the majority and government and it is unfair to expel him for speaking the truth.

The MP has doubts that the decision of the GD Secretariat was not agreed with the founder of the party and former PM, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

“Georgian Dream is the Georgian people and not a group of people within the party. No one can separate me from the voters. I do not make false and unreal statements. With old faces, I will bring the real Georgian Dream back,” he stated.

By Thea Morrison

19 July 2018 19:19