Civil.ge is reporting the creating of a new parliamentary group in Georgia.
The article reports the creation of a Georgian Dream – Conservatives faction. This faction has six members, the minimum needed for a parliamentary group. Five come from the main Georgian Dream faction and, interestingly, one from the opposition UNM.
So, where are we in terms of parliamentary groups now? The parliamentary website shows four Georgian Dream factions: the main GD group (60 deputies), The GD – Free Democrats (10), the GD – Republicans (9), and now the GD – Conservatives (6). The are also three UNM factions: the main UNM group (45 deputies), the National Movement Majoritarians (7) and the National Movement Regionalists (6). In addition, there is a separate Independent group with 6 deputies.
The question is how autonomous are the factions within each block? My understanding is that the Free Democrats and the Republicans had a party political history prior to their alliance with the new Georgian Dream movement. So, they may wish to assert their autonomy at some point. However, my sense is that party identification is weak. If so, there is always the possibility of disaffected UNM deputies migrating to the independents or even GD, as happened with the formation of the new faction.
So, we have a two block system, plus a group of independents. The question is do we have a genuine multi-party system? Time will tell.