The EU mediator in the talks between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition on the issues of repeat parliamentary elections and the release of opposition figures Christian Danielsson will travel back to Georgia by the end of the week to help the parties to come to an agreement on ‘two most challenging issues.’
Danielsson, who was sent to Georgia by European Council President Charles Michel on March 12, had spent a week in Georgia, more than scheduled, to help the parties come to an agreement.
However, earlier on March 19 he left the country after mediation had ended without result.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has tweeted:
Thank you Mr. President. This is a strong sign that the EU is not going anywhere. As we wait for @DanielssonEU’s return, I call, once again, on all sides to put country first and work toward depolarization, compromise and unity. https://t.co/hWH2IYqWZb— Salome Zourabichvili (@Zourabichvili_S) March 22, 2021
A press release issued after the mediation effort reads that the parties came to the agreement on three of five issues which included the election reform, justice reform and the distribution of power in the state legislature.
According to a press release the parties could not come to an agreement on the ‘issues of elections and politicized justice.’
Danielsson met with Michel yesterday to inform him concerning the mediation process and Michel tweeted shortly that the mediator will travel back to the country.
Took stock of the progress already achieved in Georgia mediation with @DanielssonEU— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) March 22, 2021
Time to make the necessary compromises in the interest of the citizens of Georgia ????????
Envoy will travel back to continue mediation.
The Georgian opposition parties which have won seats in the 10th convocation of the Georgian parliament say that the last year parliamentary elections were fabricated and have been demanding repeat elections since November 2020.
The arrest of the head of the United National Movement opposition party Nika Melia for his refusal to pay bail on February 23, 2021 further complicated the political tension.
The top demands of the opposition include the conduct of repeat parliamentary elections, the release of Melia and the co-founder of the opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi Giorgi Rurua who was convicted last year for the illegal possession and carrying of firearms.
The ruling party and the EU say that the Georgian elections were ‘free and competitive.’
As for the release of Melia and Rurua the Georgian Dream says that the issues are ‘up to the court and not to the government.’