GD head: several foreign politicians keep lobbying for UNM

GD head asserts that Saakashvili will serve his full sentence. Photo: Irakli Kobakhidze's Facebook page, 13 Nov 2021 - 20:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

The chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party Irakli Kobakhidze has said that several foreign politicians 'stubbornly' keep lobbying for the opposition United National Movement (UNM) 'without any arguments.'

Kobakhidze's statement comes after MEP Anna Fotyga referred to the imprisoned former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili as a 'political prisoner,' and slammed the Georgian government for denying her request to visit him in prison.

Ruling party head maintains that the government appreciates constructive criticism from foreign partners. However, he noted, several foreign politicians support the 'radical opposition,' which has a negative impact on the country.

One MEP, who has been the UNM lobbyist for a long time, supported this political force even when Saakashvili's regime killed and raped people, robbed businesses, seized the independent media and handed the country's territories over to Russia. They referred to Mikheil Saakashvili as a political prisoner. We would like to ask such people a simple question: Do they recognise Georgia as a state? Kobakhidze wrote.

Kobakhidze asserts that Saakashvili will serve his full sentence.

Saakashvili, who is currently a citizen of Ukraine, fled Georgia in 2013, a year after his United National Movement (UNM) lost the parliamentary elections to the Georgian Dream (GD). In 2018, Georgian court convicted him in absentia on two counts of abuse of power and sentenced him to six years in prison.

He is now facing five additional charges, including illegal seizure of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal, and illegal border crossing.

The former president was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1 after a clandestine return from eight years in political exile. He considers himself a ‘political prisoner’ and claims to be on a hunger strike.