US Senators Jim Risch and Jeanne Shaheen are ‘deeply concerned’ by recent political developments in Georgia.
Risch and Shaheen said in a joint statement yesterday that ‘people of Georgia deserve to have rule of law, democracy and an honest and independent judiciary’.
Over the past several years, we have raised the problem of political prosecutions with Georgian officials many times. While we are glad to see that opposition leader Nika Melia’s detention has been cancelled, such political prosecutions and arrests should never take place”, the US Senators said.
Hoping ‘this political crisis will come to an end quickly and peacefully’, they said that ‘all sides of the political spectrum must now return to the negotiating table and de-escalate the political atmosphere’.
The Georgian service of the Voice of America has meanwhile reported that US Congressmen Michael McCaul and Gregory Meeks also call on political parties for dialogue and peaceful resolution of the opposition leader Melia's case.
The Georgian Dream has meanwhile tweeted:
Despite Georgia’s international strategic partners’ calls for defusing political tensions and de-escalating the situation, radical opposition forces choose to incite street violence against the police to once again undermine the political process and deepen the polarization.— Georgian Dream (@GeorgianDream41) February 19, 2021
Gakharia then said that if ‘the enforcement of justice threatens the life and health of citizens or creates the possibility for destabilisation in the country, [it] is unacceptable.’
The ruling party-dominated parliament suspended the MP status of Melia on February 16, allowing the prosecution to demand his arrest as the latter had not posted bail for his release in a case that dates back to the June 2019 protests.
Meanwhile, the new candidate for the Georgian premiership Irakli Garibashvili named his cabinet members yesterday. The parliament is scheduled to approve the new PM and his cabinet on February 22.