EU ambassador: parliament’s refusal to suspend status for 51 opposition MPs was the right step

  • EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell is one of the facilitators in the talks between the ruling party and the opposition. Photo: EU in Georgia press office., 3 Feb 2021 - 15:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell, who is one of the facilitators in the ongoing election talks between the ruling party and the opposition, says that the refusal of parliament to vote for the suspension of status for 51 opposition MPs yesterday was ‘the right step.’

He said that the decision leaves a chance for an agreement to be reached between the opposition and the ruling party in the election talks. 

Fifty-one opposition MPs from six of eight opposition parties and election blocs which have won seats in parliament have requested the suspension of their status. 

They say that the October 31 parliamentary elections in Georgia were fabricated and are demanding repeat elections. 

Foreign ambassadors are now mediating talks between the ruling party and the opposition to help them end the current political crisis. 

Hartzell says that the negotiation process is ‘very complicated’ and that none of the parties are ready to take concrete steps. 

Six of 60 opposition MPs have entered parliament so far. Photo: parliament of Georgia press office. 

He stated that if the parties fail to reach an agreement it will have a negative impact ‘on the ruling party, opposition and the whole country.’ 

Hartzell said that all parties involved in the talks, including the mediators, ‘should ensure maximal efforts’ to complete the negotiations successfully. 

However, he also said that the foreign ambassadors may have to reconsider their role in the talks and the format of the negotiations. 

US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, who is also mediating the talks, has expressed hope that the parties will act ‘based on the interests of voters.’ 

She stated that the Georgian people are concerned by economic issues, high prices, poverty and are waiting for  solving the  problems from the parties they voted on in the elections. 

Degnan expressed hope that the ‘expectations’ will push the parties to make an agreement and jointly address the problems from parliament. 

The ruling party says that they are ready to continue talks with the opposition.

 However, they state that the elections were conducted in the ‘full line with law’ and ‘no repeat elections will take place.’