PM Garibashvili: EU reaffirmed Georgian elections were free, no grounds for ‘artificially created’ crisis

  • Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that the country’s opposition has created the current political tension artificially. Photo: Government of Georgia press office., 18 Mar 2021 - 12:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated following his recent visit to Brussels that the EU top officials have reaffirmed Georgia’s 2020 parliamentary elections were ‘free and competitive’ and that the demands of the Georgian opposition parties for repeat elections ‘have no grounds.’ 

He has expressed hope that the ruling party and the ‘constructive part’ of the opposition will come to an agreement in the coming days in the EU-mediated talks. 

Garibashvili has described his meetings in the EU and NATO as 'very successful’ and stated that ‘Georgia’s democratic progress’ has been ‘recognised and praised’ in Brussels. 

EU officials and the document released after the 6th EU-Georgia Association Council meeting on March 16 say that the October 31, 2020 Georgian parliamentary elections, as well as the second round of the elections in November 2020, were ‘competitive.’ 

The view contradicts the position of most of the Georgian opposition parties which have won seats in the 10th convocation of the state legislature, which have refused to take up their mandates and have been demanding repeat elections since the race. 

The conduct of repeat elections is among the three demands of the opposition in the currently ongoing EU-mediated talks with the ruling Georgian Dream party, along with the release of opposition leader Nika Melia and the co-founder of the opposition-minded Mtavari Arkhi TV channel Giorgi Rurua. 

Christian Danielsson, who is the EU mediator in the talks, held the first joint meeting with the ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition yesterday. 

Danielsson, who arrived in Georgia on March 12, has held separate meetings with the parties in  previous days. 

The talks will continue today. 

The leader of Republican Party Khatuna Samnidze has stated that an agreement may be reached today.