Georgian Opera Singer Announces Plan to Run in Parliamentary Elections

TBILISI - Georgian opera star Paata Burchuladze officially announced Thursday his plan to run in the October 8 parliamentary election under his own State for the People Party.

Burchuladze originally hinted at ending his 35 year opera career for a life in politics in early 2015 when he cancelled several scheduled concerts at Milan’s La Scala, London’s Covent Garden and New York’s Met to launch the Georgian Development Foundation, which he described at the time as an attempt “to finish the era of fear and unprofessionalism in the country.”

Burchuladze has not excluded the possibility that the foundation may become a political party and also take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“I was forced to leave the sweet and good life of an opera career, sweet and go into politics. This was not because I'm a good person or a politician, but because the country is in a very bad condition,” said Burchuladze.

Burchuladze is known as one of Georgia’s leading philanthropists, having charity opened launched his own charity in Washington with plans to create second in Los Angeles.

"I have an excellent political team. We have defined what we want to do after we enter the parliament. We will have strong representation in the parliament and we will cooperate with all parties. All Georgia is currently on our side," Burchuladze said.

In a survey published by the International Republican Institute in April, Burchuladze polled third with 12 per cent support from potential voters. The ruling Georgian Dream (19 per cent) and opposition United National Movement (18 per cent) currently lead the polls.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

13 May 2016 12:43