UNM: Government to blame in “political persecution” of ex-President

UNM says Saakashvili’s activities about Ukraine, his contribution to mobilization of western attention come in conflict with the interests of Putin.
Agenda.ge, 23 Mar 2014 - 12:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

An opposition political party are calling the official summoning of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili as "a political persecution” and believe this action could damage Georgia’s European integration dreams.

United National Movement (UNM) released a special statement today which said the Government’s pursuit of the former president could "damage of Georgia’s way towards NATO and the EU”.

"The leaders of the Georgian Dream repeatedly stated the main objective of the Government was to destroy the United National Movement. The last one and a half years of political intimidation has clearly shown that the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office has been used for creating cases artificially around people who are not politically acceptable and not for the purpose of determining an objective reality,” the statement said.

UNM members pointed out criticism from Western partners and warned about possible threats against Georgia.

"Several European leaders have said starting persecution against Mikheil Saakasvhili was the red line that if crossed, would cause irreparable harm to Georgia’s move towards the European family.

"In particular, it could create a serious threat to the signing of Association Agreement with the EU and accession process to NATO, which is only favourable for an aggressor state – Russia,” read the UNM statement.

The party repeated the opinion made by Saakashvili himself, who yesterday said his activities and presence in Ukraine, as well as his contribution to Western attention mobilization and shaping positions "naturally come in conflict with the interests of Putin”.

"Starting persecution in this crucial moment speaks not only about a personal revenge of Ivanishvili but there is also no doubt that the oligarch is acting in the interests of the Kremlin,” UNM members believed.

They claimed they would not allow former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to hinder the country’s democratic development and they would protect Georgia’s interests both inside and outside the country.

Saakashvili has been summoned to appear at 1 pm on March 27 at the Chief Prosecutor’s Office. The Office stated Saakashvili would be questioned as a witness in 10 cases.