Parliament suspends MP status of United National Movement opposition head Melia

  • Nika Melia became a chair of the United National Movement opposition party back in December 2020. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 5 Oct 2021 - 17:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian parliament has suspended the MP status of the head of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party Nika Melia with 79 votes earlier today, as Melia requested back in August 2021 to prepare for the October 2 municipal elections. 

Melia’s move came on the heels of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party announcement to back out of the April 2021 EU mediated agreement which obliged the party to accept the holding of repeat parliamentary elections if it received less than 43 per cent of the vote in the October 2 municipal elections.

Melia and the UNM claimed anyway that Saturday’s elections were also a referendum and if the GD failed to receive the 43 per cent of the vote in the race, it would have to accept the holding of snap parliamentary elections. 

The recent return of the third president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili also served the goal to support the UNM in the elections and prevent the GD from receiving the 43 per cent of the vote. 

However, the GD received almost 47 per cent of the vote in the proportional part of the elections and won 44 of 64 mayoral constituencies. 

Melia also came second in the Tbilisi mayoral race and he and incumbent Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze will compete in the run-off on October 30 as none of the candidates received at least 50% + 1 of the vote.

This is for the third time Melia’s MP status has been suspended. However, the previous two cases were connected with criminal charges and took place against the will of Melia.