Opposition accuses gov’t of endangering election agreement after opposition TV channel co-founder Rurua denied bail

Giorgi Rurua does not admit to the crime, saying the firearm was planted in his car. Photo: IPN.

Agenda.ge, 18 May 2020 - 12:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

Opposition parties accuse the ruling Georgian Dream party of endangering the March 8 election agreement ‘once again’ as Tbilisi City court denied bail to the co-founder of opposition-minded Mtavari Arkhi Giorgi Rurua earlier today. 

The opposition says that the ruling party ‘accepted the release’ of Rurua, together with opposition leaders Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili in the March 8 agreement, during the talks which was facilitated by the diplomatic corps. 

The opposition says that if Rurua, who was detained for alleged possession and carrying of a firearm, remains in prison, they will not vote for the constitutional changes for the 2020 parliamentary elections per the March 8 agreement. 

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili pardoned Ugulava and Okruashvili on May 15, stating that it was a ‘very difficult decision for her.’ 

Zurabishvili said she did not pardon Ugulava and Okruashvili as ‘political prisoners’, as Georgia does not have any political prisoners. Rather, she said, her decision aimed to put an end to speculations around this issue, which are ‘discrediting the country’.

The opposition has demanded the release of Ugulava, Ukruashvili and Rurua to vote for the constructional amendments for 2020 elections. 

The ruling party has called Ugulava and Okruashvili ‘criminals and budget thieves’ and stated that there was no need for the president to pardon them. 

They ruling party officials and MPs say that the government has never interfered in the court's issues. 

Former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, who is currently an opposition European Georgia member, was sentenced to three years and two months in prison for the embezzlement of 48 million GEL from the Tbilisi Municipal Development Fund while in office.

Former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who currently chairs the opposition party For a Victorious Georgia, was earlier sentenced to five years in prison for participating in group violence during the June 20 rally in front of the parliament of Georgia last year.

The united opposition has a meeting later today regarding the election agreement, which will be attended by Ugulava and Okruashvili.