PM Garibashvili: opposition continues destructive actions after meeting with European Council president

  • Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that a consensus may be reached with a ‘constructive part of the opposition’ to ease the current political tension in the county. Photo: government of Georgia press office., 2 Mar 2021 - 15:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that the opposition parties have continued ‘destructive actions and tried to block the functioning of the state legislature’ shortly after the meeting with the European Council president Charles Michel yesterday. 

The anti-state, destructive actions do not serve neither the dialogue which began yesterday (with the participation of Michel), nor the state interests. The destructive actions only serve the interests of rival states,” Garibashvili said. 

Garibashvili stated that he is optimistic that the dialogue ‘with constructive opposition’ will continue and be completed successfully. 

He said that yesterday’s meeting with the opposition, with the participation of Michel, concerned three major issues.  

Garibashvili said that the opposition raised the issue of the release of the head of the United National Movement opposition party Nika Melia who was arrested on February 23 for his refusal to pay bail. 

On the topic we said that the government will not interfere in the court’s issues. If Melia’s relatives and others really want to help him, they can pay the bail. The second issue was about the changes to the country’s election code and the bill has already been introduced. As for the third issue, it concerned the repeat elections and we said that no repeat elections will take place because there are no legal grounds for this,” Garibashvili said. 

Seven individuals have been detained at the opposition’s anti-government rally at the Georgian parliament in central Tbilisi earlier today after they disobeyed police.

The opposition parties which have been demanding repeat parliamentary elections since November 2020 took to the street again last week, following the arrest of the head of the United National Movement opposition party Nika Melia. 

Melia, who is charged with incitement to violence during the June protests in Tbilisi back in 2019, was arrested on February 23 for refusal to post bail.

Now the opposition is demanding the release of Melia, one of the co-founders of the opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi Giorgi Rurua and the repeat parliamentary elections. 

The opposition parties have requested mediation instead of facilitation from the EU yesterday, during the meeting with the president of the European Council Charles Michel, to come to an agreement with the ruling Georgian party amid the current political tension. 

They said that they may accept the referendum instead of the repeat parliamentary elections.