Republican Party of Georgia
|This article is outdated. (October 2012)|
|Republican Party of Georgia|
|საქართველოს რესპუბლიკური პარტია|
|Founded||May 21, 1978|
|Youth wing||Young Republicans|
|International affiliation||Liberal International (observer)|
|European affiliation||European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party|
|Seats in Parliament|
|Politics of Georgia
The Republican Party of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს რესპუბლიკური პარტია, sak’art’velos respublikuri partia), commonly known as the Republicans (რესპუბლიკელები, respublikelebi), is a political party in Georgia active since 1978. It is currently in opposition to Mikheil Saakashvili's government and for the 2012 elections, it is part of the Georgian Dream alliance that won the election against United National Movement.
The party was not represented in the Parliament of Georgia elected in the Georgian legislative election, 2008, and only maintaining its representation in Tbilisi City Assembly and Adjara's Supreme Council. The current chairperson is Khatuna Samnidze, elected in November 2013. The party's declared platform includes the reforms of local self-governance, economy and a free and independent judiciary system. It supports Georgia’s pro-Western line and bids to join the NATO and European Union.
The Republican Party of Georgia emerged as an underground political organization in then-Soviet Georgia on May 21, 1978, and campaigned for an independent Georgia, human rights and free market economy. However, the party’s leading members were arrested by the Soviet State Security Committee (KGB) between 1983 and 1984 and imprisoned on charges of “anti-Soviet campaign and propaganda.” In Georgia’s first multi-party elections on October 28, 1990, the Republicans won 3 seats in the Supreme Council of Georgia and joined the Democratic Center faction which was in opposition to the Round Table-Free Georgia majority and its leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia. In June 1991, the party garnered 20% of votes in Georgia’s southwestern autonomous republic of Adjara where they turned into a major opposition to Aslan Abashidze’s increasingly authoritarian regime. After Gamsakhurdia’s fall in a coup in January 1992, the Republicans were represented in a provisional State Council of Georgia, and formed a 10-member opposition faction in the Parliament of Georgia elected on October 11, 1992, but failed to obtain any seat in the next two parliamentary elections on 1995 and 1999, respectively. Yet, many members of the party remained energetically engaged in civil society and criticized Eduard Shevardnadze’s increasingly unpopular government.
In 2002, the party forged an alliance with Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) and shared its success in the 2002 local and 2003 parliamentary elections. The party was instrumental in the 2003 Rose Revolution which forced Shevardnadze into resignation, and played a prominent role in Aslan Abashidze’s removal during the 2004 Adjara crisis. The Republicans run independently in the Adjarian legislative election in June 2004, but managed to secure only 3 seats in Adjara’s 30-member Supreme Council. The party accused the UNM of having rigged the election and the dispute resulted in the final split between the former allies. In 2005, the Republican members of Georgia’s parliament united with the Conservative Party of Georgia and a few non-party MPs into the opposition Democratic Front faction led by Davit Berdzenishvili, the party’s veteran member.
Since then, the Republicans have been in moderate opposition to Saakashvili’s administration. They joined other opposition parties in the 2007 anti-government demonstrations and supported a joint opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze in the early 2008 presidential election.
After a political setback suffered in the 2008 parliamentary elections, the Republican Party of Georgia forged an alliance with the New Rights Party on December 8, 2008. Both parties united in "The Alliance for Georgia" led by Irakli Alasania, Georgia's ex-envoy to the United Nations in February 2009.
On July 8, 2009, the 13th National Congress of the Republican Party of Georgia was held. The Congress adopted new version of Party Statute, 35 members of National Committee and 5 members of Inspection Commission were elected on a competitive basis. David Usupashvili was elected as the chairman of the Party at the National Congress.
In 2012, it joined the Georgian Dream alliance that won the election against United National Movement. The then-part chairman David Usupashvili became the chairperson of the parliament, whilst another representative of Republican party - Paata Zakareishvili took a portfolio of the minister of reintegration in Georgian government
- Young Republicans
- Nodia, Ghia; Pinto Scholtbach, Álvaro (2006), The Political Landscape of Georgia: Political Parties: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects, Eburon, p. 123
- (Georgian) The Democratic Front faction: political platform. Parliament of Georgia. Accessed on May 3, 2008.
- Brief history of the Republican Party of Georgia. May 21, 2006. The Republican Party of Georgia website. Accessed on May 3, 2008.
- ‘Think-Tank’ Republicans to Quit Ruling Coalition. Civil Georgia. June 23, 2004.
- New Opposition Alliance Set Up. Civil Georgia. 2008-12-08
- Alasania Leads New Alliance with New Rights, Republicans. Civil Georgia. February 23, 2009