Opposition to nominate father of killed terrorist suspect for majoritarian candidate in local elections

Malkhaz Machalikashvili says that his goal is to see the ruling party defeated in the October 2 municipal elections. Photo:RFE/RL.

Agenda.ge, 25 Aug 2021 - 12:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United National Movement (UNM), European Georgia, Droa and Girchi - More Freedom opposition parties will nominate Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of a terrorism suspect killed during a police raid back in 2017, for their joint majoritarian candidate for the Duisi election constituency in eastern Kakheti region in the October 2 municipal race.

Machalikashvili has stated that the opposition was unable to find a candidate for the constituency which unites Duisi and Tsinubani villages of the country’s mainly Kist and Chechen populated Pankisi gorge. 

He also said that his decision to join the opposition ‘is a part of his four-year fight against the Georgian Dream government’ and his wish to ‘remove the party from power.’

It has no importance for me which opposition party I will represent in the fight,” Machalikashvili said, adding that he is well aware of the problems of the local population. 

Machalikashvili will run with the election number of the UNM - five. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Machalikashvili has been demanding ‘a fair investigation’ into his son’s death since 2017 and spent several months in a tent in front of the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi. 

He says that his son had no links to terrorists and that the19-year-old boy was ‘mistakenly killed in a poorly planned anti-terrorist raid.’ 

Machalikashvili demands the punishment of the former head of the country’s State Security Service, current Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri and his former deputy Ioseb Gogashvili. 

The country’s Prosecutor's Office closed an investigation into the case in January 2020, stating that they uncovered ‘no abuse of authority’ and that a special unit serviceman ‘was forced to shoot as Machalikashvili refused to show his hands and attempted to activate a hand grenade.’

The European Court of Human Rights began deliberations in the Machalikashvili case in October 2019.