Georgian opposition: EU mediator vows to stay until agreement reached

  • EU mediator in the talks between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition may stay in Tbilisi longer than scheduled. Photo: EU delegation to Georgia., 15 Mar 2021 - 12:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian opposition parties say that Christian Danielsson, who is the EU mediator in the talks between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition, will stay in Tbilisi until the parties come to an agreement on the issues of repeat parliamentary elections and the release of opposition leader Nika Melia. 

 Danielsson, who  was scheduled to have left Georgia after yesterday’s meetings, announced he would stay for ‘additional one day.’ 

He held a meeting with leaders of Georgian opposition parties earlier today. 

 Danielsson has not confirmed so far that he will stay until the completion of negotiations.

The opposition says that per the working document (which is not public) both the ruling party and the opposition will have to make concessions. 

However, they say that the ruling party does not want to do so. 

Danielsson said after yesterday’s meetings with the political parties that 'we knew from the beginning that what we are doing here is difficult'. However, he said 'we have been working hard and we have seen progress'. 

Although the Georgian Dream chair Irakli Kobakhidze did not speak about the meeting in detail, he said the success of the negotiations depends on the political parties and that the ruling party ‘will spare no efforts for the successful completion of the dialogue’.  

We will follow the principle of justice and we will naturally sign what we consider fair”, Kobakhidze said. 

He stated that the negotiations will resume after the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili returns from the EU-Georgia Association Council meeting from Brussels allegedly on March 18. 

Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has stated earlier today that the parties ‘must come to an agreement’ because the country ‘will not resist so much stagnation, tension and polarisation.’ 

Georgia has faced political tension since 2019. 

The presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament in June 2019 pushed people to the street and rallies continued for several months. 

After the 2020 parliamentary elections, the opposition parties which have won seats in the state legislature, have accused the ruling party of fabricating the elections and took to the street. 

Foreign ambassadors have facilitated four rounds of talks between the ruling party and the opposition to help them end the tension. However, the talks ended without the result. 

The arrest of the opposition leader Melia on February 23, 2021 for his refusal to pay bail further complicated the tension. 

The European Council President Charles Michel who paid a visit to Georgia on March 1 facilitated a meeting between the ruling party and the opposition and following the visit sent Danielsson to Tbilisi to mediate the talks.