Opposition Leader Burchuladze Quits Politics, Returns to Opera

TBILISI - Former opera singer-turned-politician Paata Burchuladze, who left his successful singer career in May to form a political party State for People and participate in the October parliamentary elections, announced that he is quitting politics and returning to the stage.

The announcement was made at the State for People party congress on Wednesday.

Burchuladze said he decided to go abroad and resume his international singing career, while the party would be left to the young generation.

State for People will have a new Chair, Nika Machutadze, 24, a researcher of political sciences, historian and constitutional expert, who has been beside Paata Burchuladze since the day the party was founded.

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.”

In early May, 2016 he announced that he would run in the October 8 parliamentary elections under his own State for the People Party.

In August, he formed a coalition with three other opposition parties to form the State for the People Movement.

The bloc included the New Political Center Girchi, New Rights Party and New Georgia, all of whom made the decision after the four parties decided to create a broader union of “pro-Western political forces”.

Although in pre-election political surveys Burchuladze polled third with 12 percent support from potential voters, his coalition failed to pass the 5 percent election threshold and was left without any seats in parliament.

By Thea Morrison


15 December 2016 11:06