Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili said that ruling GDDG party’s campaign against opposition UNM MP Gigi Tsereteli’s bid for OSCE Parliamentary Assembly presidency is “political masochism” and worse than shameful.
25th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, which opened in Tbilisi on July 1, will be concluded with an election of the Assembly President on July 5.
MP from Georgia’s opposition UNM party, Gigi Tsereteli, who now serves his second term as vice-presidents of the OSCE PA, is one of the candidates for the Assembly presidency.
GDDG has called on the Assembly members not to support Tsereteli’s candidacy, claiming that his election could affect negatively on the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s role as an observer in Georgia’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
Parliament Speaker Usupashvili, who is also a member of the Georgian delegation in the Assembly, said that he was criticized by his colleagues from GDDG when he described their campaign against Tsereteli as “shameful”.
“I have to admit that I was really wrong about calling it shameful… because it is disgraceful, which is becoming political masochism,” said Usupashvili, whose Republican Party is in a governing coalition with GDDG.
He said that arguments brought by the GDDG are “counterproductive”.
“Personally I think that Gigi Tsereteli’s biggest problem in his bid for presidency is support from the Russian delegation and his strongest trump card is GDDG’s such a strong resistance against his candidacy,” Usupashvili said.
Several members of the Russian delegation in the OSCE PA, among them Chairman of Russia’s State Duma committee on CIS and Eurasian integration Leonid Slutsky, spoke positively of Tsereteli and said they are ready to support his candidacy for the Assembly president.
The Russian delegation’s publicly voiced support for Tsereteli came as an embarrassment for the UNM party.
Trying to distance the party from Russian delegation’s support, UNM MP Giorgi Kandelaki alleged that GDDG conspired with the Russian delegation and as a result the latter publicly voice support for Tsereteli, but in fact the Russian MPs are not going to vote for the UNM MP during the secret ballot on July 5.