Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili says that the nomination of a shadow cabinet for Tbilisi by United National Movement (UNM) opposition party head and the party’s Tbilisi mayoral candidate, Nika Melia, ‘is another lie and an attempt to mislead the public.’
Melia stated yesterday that after he wins the mayoral run-off on October 30, his deputies will be Lelo opposition party founder Mamuka Khazaradze, Girchi-More Freedom party head Zurab Japaridze, Droa leader Elene Khoshtaria, and opposition member Irakli Abesadze.
There is no shadow cabinet, it was a proposal by the UNM team. The UNM will be defeated in all constituencies in the municipal election run-offs and the country will continue its peaceful and stable development,” Garibashvili said earlier today.
He stated that the ‘UNM believes they will be able to cheat the people like when they were in office (between 2003 and 2012).’
Their (UNM’s) perceptions are not real,” Garibashvili asserted.
@NikaMelia5 presents the shadow cabinet for Tbilisi first-ever coalition government, including the leaders of @Girchi_GE, @LeloForGeorgia, @MovementDroa as candidates for vice-Mayors in the lead up to Georgia's municipal election run-off pic.twitter.com/6GHVIKuXaK— UNM Georgia (ენმ) (@UNMGeorgia) October 20, 2021
He also criticized Khazaradze, one of the founders of Georgia’s TBC Bank, who decided to enter politics only after he was charged with laundering 16.7 million USD in 2019.
Garibashvili said that Khazaradze ‘has always been a loyal servant of Saakashvili,’ and that he and his bank had been used ‘to rob’ businessmen under UNM leadership.
Dozens of businessmen, who are now demanding the restoration of justice, were brought to TBC Bank offices to forcibly give their properties to UNM officials,” Garibashvili said.
He also stated that the arrest of former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi on October 1, a day before Georgian municipal elections, as well as his previous conviction and current charges against him, ‘were done in accordance with the law, and no normal individual in the world would question the arrest.’
“I’m appealing for help, not for myself, but for a Georgian democracy by taking this desperate step of coming and turning myself in. I wanted both, to express solidarity to my suffering nation and awaken the consciousness of the World.” #FreeSaakashvili pic.twitter.com/eNToDIGSVe— Mikheil Saakashvili (@SaakashviliM) October 21, 2021
The ruling party's mayoral candidate for Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze, has also stated that the nomination of a shadow cabinet by the opposition ‘is funny’ when the ruling party has a majority in Tbilisi City Assembly.
The ruling party received 47% of the vote in the proportional part of the elections, and won 44 of 64 mayoral and majoritarian constituencies in the first round of elections on October 2.
The run-offs will be held only in 20 of 64 mayoral and majoritarian constituencies, in which the ruling party and the UNM candidates will compete for 17 constituencies.