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An Annulled Political Deal Plunges Georgia Back Into Uncertainty

MIN READAug 2, 2021 | 16:46 GMT

The chairman of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, attends a press conference following EU-mediated talks with opposition leaders in Tbilisi on March 31, 2021.

The chairman of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, attends a press conference following EU-mediated talks with opposition leaders in Tbilisi on March 31, 2021.

(VANO SHLAMOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The dissolution of Georgia’s power-sharing agreement threatens the legitimacy of upcoming October elections and could result in the loss of Western economic support. On July 28, Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party announced it would withdraw from the EU-brokered and U.S.-backed power-sharing agreement it signed with opposition leaders on April 19. That agreement came after several months of political turmoil in the wake of Georgia’s contested October 2020 election, which triggered massive opposition protests. Widespread distrust of the ruling party’s administration of elections and last year’s parliamentary ballot, in particular, will persist during October’s local elections and potential snap parliamentary elections in early 2022, as only elections conducted concurrently with a functioning power-sharing between Georgian Dream and the opposition will have any chance at sufficient acceptance. On Aug. 2, Georgian Dream members of parliament repeated that the party had no plans to rejoin the EU-mediated agreement. ...

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