Parliament Committee Chair: decisions to engage in, withdraw from politics a personal matter

  • Sarjveladze stressed that no one could be “obliged” to make a decision to engage in politics. Photo: Parliament of Georgia, 4 Aug 2022 - 13:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

Mikheil Sarjveladze, the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament’s Committee on Human Rights, on Thursday said decisions by individuals to engage in or withdraw from politics were a personal matter, in response to a joint letter of the Citizens and Girchi opposition parties calling on the imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili to withdraw from politics and urging the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to take political office again in a bid to ease domestic political polarisation “hampering” Georgia’s European Union membership process. 

Sarjveladze stressed that no one could be “obliged” to make a decision to engage in politics.

When talking about someone engaging in or withdrawing from politics, we should take into account that every person makes their own decision to participate or not in politics. Therefore, we cannot oblige anyone to make a decision to engage in politics. We will have some questions about these calls of the opposition MPs”, the Parliament official said.

In comments, the opposition MPs stated that Saakashvili’s retirement from the country’s political life would also allow the United National Movement opposition party, founded by Saakshvili, to transform itself into a “healthier” political force. 

In remarks over Ivanishvili, who left Georgian politics for the second time last year,  the parties suggested that the political responsibility should be taken by “those who make decisions or have all the resources to make decisions”.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday said claims about a return to politics of Bidzina Ivanishvili were “mere speculation”.

In a letter addressed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on July 18, Garibashvili said allegations on the Georgian Government being run by Bidzina Ivanishvili were “offensive to me personally and to my country”.