European Council president to visit Tbilisi after majority of Georgian parties sign agreement

  • European Council President Charles Michel will hold meetings with the leaders of Georgian political parties in Tbilisi. Photo: EU., 20 Apr 2021 - 11:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Council President Charles Michel will visit Georgia in the afternoon to meet with the leaders of the political parties who signed his proposal yesterday in Tbilisi to solve the political tension in the country which began following the 2020 parliamentary elections. 

The proposal by Michel covers electoral and justice reforms, offers pardon for all violations and convictions stemming from the 19-21 June 2019 protests and the conduct of repeat parliamentary elections in 2022 if the ruling party fails to receive at least 43 per cent of votes in this year’s municipal elections. 

The Georgian Dream ruling party, Lelo opposition party, Citizens, Republicans, Strategy Agmashenebeli and Girchi signed the agreement in the presidential palace yesterday. 

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has tweeted: 

Former Member of the European Georgia opposition party David Bakradze and a member of the United National Movement opposition party Salome Samadashvili signed the agreement individually. 

The United National Movement which received most, 34 of 60 opposition mandates in the 150-member parliament, has not signed the agreement so far, as well as European Georgia opposition party and Labour party. 

The founder of the United National Movement party, former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has stated that he dislikes the proposal, adding that ‘devil is in details.’ 

Leader of Labour Party Shalva Natelashvili has stated that signing the agreement is ‘absolutely unacceptable for me.’ 

EU ambassador to Georgia has tweeted: 

The Georgian opposition parties which have won seats in the 10th convocation of the Georgian parliament say that the last year parliamentary elections were fabricated and have been demanding repeat elections since November 2020. 

The arrest of the head of the United National Movement opposition party Nika Melia for his refusal to pay bail on February 23, 2021(in the case of June 2019 protests) further complicated the political tension. 

The top demands of the opposition included the conduct of repeat parliamentary elections, the release of Melia and the co-founder of the opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi Giorgi Rurua who was convicted last year for the illegal possession and carrying of firearms. 

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili stated yesterday that she will pardon Rurua if opposition enters parliament. 

Michel sent mediator Christian Danielsson twice to Georgia last month to help the parties come to an agreement.

However, both efforts ended without the result. 

Only the ruling Georgian Dream party signed Danielsson’s proposal earlier this month. 

On April 18 Michel released his proposal and urged the parties to put state interests above party interests and take a step for solving the political tension.