Gov’t ready for ‘constructive dialogue’ as EU-mediator resumes talks between Georgian political parties

  • Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili (R ) has met with EU mediator Christian Danielsson earlier today. Photo: government of Georgia press office., 29 Mar 2021 - 11:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that the ruling Georgian Dream party is ready for a ‘constructive dialogue’ with the opposition to solve the current political tension ‘as soon as possible.’ 

Garibashvili made the statement earlier today after his meeting with EU mediator Christian Danielsson who returned back to Tbilisi on March 27 after the failure of his previous mediation efforts earlier this month. 

The talks will resume today. Danielsson is scheduled to meet with President Salome Zurabishvili and the ruling party and opposition leaders during the day. 

Danielsson said upon arrival that he is looking forward to engaging with leaders of political parties in supporting them to reach an agreement on the most controversial issues which concern the repeat parliamentary elections and the release of opposition figures. 

Now it is the time for compromise and compromise is not a sign of weakness, compromise is a sign of strength, compromise shows that democracy in Georgia works, compromise is the European way,” he said on the weekend. 

During today's meeting with Danielsson Garibashvili said that the Georgian government ‘appreciates the EU mediation which is for the deescalation of situation and for a normal political process in the country.’ 

Garibashvili and Danielsson have discussed the issues which are most controversial between the parties. They stressed the importance of rule of law and the respect to democratic institutions, as well as the conclusion of OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission which said that 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia were free and competitive,” the government of Georgia press office has reported. 

 On Sunday Danielsson met with the US and EU ambassadors to Georgia and the representatives of local NGOs. 

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. 

On Match 23 Michel tweeted that Danielsson would travel back to Georgia. 

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. 

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated that repeat elections are not on the agenda, while the release of Melia and Rurua is up to the court and not to the government. 

Garibashvili said that the country’s opposition has two choices: ‘either listen to the EU and the US partners and take up their mandates in the state legislature, or continue their marginal actions.’