Gakharia after resignation: confrontation, rivalry in Georgia endanger democratic, economic development

  • Giorgi Gakharia said he hopes his step will help 'reduce polarisation and deescalate the situation' in the country. Photo: PM's press office, 18 Feb 2021 - 20:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, who resigned earlier today amid a disagreement with the ruling Georgian Dream party over the detention of opposition leader Nika Melia’s detention, said ‘confrontation and rivalry’ in Georgia endanger its future democratic and economic development.

Announcing his resignation, Gakharia said his decision was connected with the upcoming arrest of the United National Movement opposition party chair following yesterday's court ruling.

He said although Melia had violated the law and has been engaged in sparking tension in the country, it was not the right time for his detention.

Confirming the disagreement with Gakharia over Melia's arrest the ruling party chair Irakli Kobakhidze said the reasons named by Gakharia why the opposition leader should not be arrested were ‘weak.’ 

The ruling Georgian Dream party has already nominated acting Defence Minister Irakli Garibashvili for the premiership following Gakharia's resignation. 

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.