Police ‘postpone’ Melia’s arrest as PM resigns

Georgian police employees were present at the headquarters of the United National Movement opposition party to arrest Nika Melia. Photo: RFE/RL.

Agenda.ge, 18 Feb 2021 - 11:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that they have postponed the detention of opposition MP and the head of the United National Movement Nika Melia following the recent resignation of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia. 

Gakharia stated earlier today that he resigned because he failed to make an agreement with the ruling Georgian Georgian Dream party over Melia’s issue. 

Gakharia said that Melia’s arrest was legal. However, he stated that the detention amid the current political crisis would threaten further destabilisation. 

Tbilisi City Court ruled yesterday that Melia be remanded into custody for failure to post bail, per the request of the country’s Prosecutor’s Office.

Parliament suspended the MP status of Melia on February 16, allowing the prosecution to demand his arrest claiming the latter has not posted bail for his release in a case that dates back to the June 2019 protests.

Poeple at UNM office after Gakharia announced his resignation. Photo: IPN. 

A Number of opposition politicians and activists  gathered at the UNM headquarters yesterday to support Melia. 

They stated that they would not allow the police to arrest Melia. 

People at the UNM office applauded Gakharia’s resignation. 

The PM’s resignation means that his cabinet is also suspended and the parliament will have to approve a new PM and cabinet in two weeks. 

If parliament fails to approve the new government, the president will dismiss the parliament and snap parliamentary elections will be scheduled. 

The Georgian opposition parties say that the October 31 parliamentary elections were fabricated and they are demanding repeat elections.