Opposition MP and the head of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party Nika Melia, who was named the reason for PM Giorgi Gakharia recent resignation, has stated that the opposition ‘welcomes’ the PM’s decision, but it is not sufficient.
Melia has stated that an ‘urgent meeting’ must take place between the ruling party and the opposition, with the facilitation of foreign ambassadors, and the parties ‘must come to an agreement’ on repeat parliamentary elections.
Melia said that Gakharia’s resignation was ‘recognition’ that the government ‘planned more violence, similar to that of June 2019.’
Parliament suspended the MP status of Melia on February 16, 2021 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.
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.
Opposition have been demanding repeat elections since November 2020. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
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.
Melia, along with 50 other opposition MPs, is demanding repeat parliamentary elections and has refused to take up his mandate in the 10th convocation of Georgian parliament in protest.
However, the parliament did not vote for the suspension of MP status for 51 opposition MPs earlier this month.
Four meetings have been held between the ruling party and the opposition with the facilitation of foreign ambassadors to help the parties end the current political crisis. However, the meetings ended without the result.
The ruling party says that the October 31, 2020 parliamentary elections were held in the full line with democratic standards.
The election data of NGOs and the country’s Central Election Commission also match.