The newly established Georgian political party, the New Political Center (NPC), was founded by Member of Parliament, Zurab Japaridze, along with three of his fellow parliamentarians and supporters following their split from the United National Movement in May, 2015.
In the immediate months after its establishment, the NPC quickly gained popular support, growing to more than 3000 members including around 1000 online registered members.
The NPC is a pro-Western, centrist party – socially liberal and fiscally conservative –created to promote democratic values and with the intent to:
- Introduce innovative, progressive ideas to Georgian politics;
- Create new opportunities to engage a new generation of professionals in politics;
- Transform the country’s political landscape from two party controlled to a fully functioning multi-party democracy;
- Provide young, Western-educated, middle class, small and medium-size business professionals, a party that represents their values;
- Advocate transparent, accountable government and open society ideas;
- Use social networks and modern technologies as a main communication platform to become the first Georgian party in parliament encouraging direct digital communication with the nation’s electorate.
1. Freedom. The NPC believes that fundamental rights and basic freedoms must be guaranteed and protected by the state. The NPC believes all Georgians should be able to openly and freely choose their religion, express their opinions and views publicly, and not be the victim of violence because of their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or because they represent any minority group. The NPC is the first Georgian party to openly declare that no fascists, homophobes, xenophobes or supporters of the Russian occupation of Georgia will everbe among its affiliates.
2. Knowledge society. The NPC believes the state should promote social liberties and policies oriented towards the development of a modern knowledge society.
3. Economic liberty. The NPC believes the proper role of a state is to assist citizens in protecting their property and accessing dispute resolution. The government should be banned from interfering in the marketplace economics of private business including - trade control, regulation of salaries, prices, rent, profit and interest rates. The government should also be prevented from interfering in voluntary agreements between citizens.
4. International relations. The NPC believes Georgia’s interest should be a peaceful co-existence with other states. Its foreign policy priorities should be peaceful restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity and European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
- No loans taken by government and an annual balanced budget.
- Taxes: income – 0%, profit – 0%, import – 0%, other taxes should be maintained as they exist currently.
- Small government: reducing the size of government from 35% to 20% in state budget.
- Fixed exchange rate tied to USD or EUR, and free currency regime.
- Accelerated privatization of state properties, especially state enterprises; registration of land to its de facto owners.
- Prohibit the use of pretrial detention in financial or economic crimes.
- Abolishment of compulsory military service.
- Focus on a professional army and modern defense systems.
- Linking defense spending to the nation’s GDP.
- It should be state policy to empower Georgian regions and municipalities with functions, powers and fiscal liberty.
- To expand the responsibilities of local governments.
- The NPC’s strategy considers the following principles as fundamental to national health policy:
- Enhancing each citizens’ individual responsibility for their own health;
- Providing universal healthcare access to the nation’s poor and disadvantaged;
- Guaranteeing every person’s freedom of choice to decide their own healthcare insurance provider;
- Creating a business friendly environment for all healthcare market providers.
- The NPC’s national education strategy considers the following principles as fundamental:
- All people must have equal access to a high-quality education without exception.
- Parents must be free to choose the education that’s best for their own children, no matter where they live or how much they earn.
- Educational institutions and teachers should be free in determining curricula and methods.