PM Garibashvili warns of ‘very serious provocations’ from opposition in run up to elections

Garibashvili said that since October 2012 (when GD came in power) ‘the media is absolutely free.' Photo:, 16 Sep 2021 - 18:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that ‘very serious provocations’ from the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party are expected ahead of the October 2 local elections.

Garibashvili responded to the head of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party Irakli Kobakhidze’s recent statement regarding the possible provocations from UNM and stated that he shares the fellow party member’s opinion.

I agree with the statement of Irakli Kobakhidze (head of the GD) and the call to our party for us to be as careful as possible because we know that we are dealing with very serious provocateurs,” Garibashvili said. 

PM Garibashvili underscored that the pre-election environment in Georgia is calm, noting that the opposition ‘will do everything to somehow damage it.’

He also touched upon the issue of an alleged confrontation between opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi’s journalists and GD activists in the party’s office in Kareli municipality yesterday and stated that ‘provocative attacks and violence are unacceptable to me and these provocative issues are also unacceptable.’ 

The cameraman of the TV channel Levan Ablotia received injuries in GD’s headquarters in Kareli. 

Ablotia says that he fell down from the second floor of the building during a confrontation with the party’s activists while the GD states that the cameraman ‘fell down himself.’ 

Garibashvili said that since October 2012 (when GD came in power) ‘the media is absolutely free,’ noting that ‘it is possible to launch the TV channel in 14 days and Mtavari Arkhi is an example of it.’ 

TV channel Mtavari Atkhi was launched in August 2019 after the former director general of the Rustavi 2 TV channel Nika Gvaramia was forced to leave the post due to the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in late July 2019.