Lelo founder Khazaradze offers US military presence in Georgia

  • Mamuka Khazaradze, a co-founder of Georgia’s TBC Bank, entered Georgian politics in 2019. Photo: Lelo for Georgia press office. 

Agenda.ge, 24 Nov 2021 - 13:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Founder of the Lelo opposition party Mamuka Khazaradze says that Georgia is ‘facing existential threats,’ from Russia and pro-Russian forces in Georgia, and states that a ‘powerful national platform’ should be created which will ensure the presence of the US military in Georgia, a rapid signing of a free trade agreement with the US, and the adoption of a lustration law to reveal spies of enemies in the public service. 

In his recent Facebook post, Khazaradze claimed that the policy of the current Georgian Dream government ‘contradicts national interests,’ and invited people to unite around his initiative. 

 All interested parties are invited to a round-table format to discuss the initiative and find ways for its implementation,” Khazaradze said. 

Ruling party MP Irakli Kadagishvili says that there is nothing new in Khazaradze’s initiative. 

He stated that US-Georgia military and political cooperation is ‘at an all-time-high’ and that major steps have already been taken to sign a free trade agreement with the US. 

As for the lustration law, when the opposition refused to take up their mandates after the 2020 parliamnentary elections, it was what made the enemy happy,” Kadagishvili said. 

The Georgian parliament suspended Khazaradze's MP status on November 16. 

He himself submitted the request in early November in protest of what he claimed were the ‘fabricated’ results of the recent municipal elections in October. 

Khazaradze entered politics in 2019, shortly after he was charged with laundering 16.7 million USD, along with another founder of TBC Bank, Badri Japaridze. 

Lelo for Georgia won four seats in parliament in the 2020 parliamentary elections. 

In the recent municipal elections, Lelo candidates failed to win any of the mayoral constituencies as the GD candidates won 63 of the 64 constituencies, while the UNM candidate carried just one.