Sunday, April 11, 2021

Georgia’s Prime Minister resigns and worsens political crisis in the country

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Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia on Thursday announced his resignation for disagreeing with the decision of the Tbilisi court ordering the pre-trial detention of an opposition leader.

“I made the decision to leave my position,” said Giorgi Gakharia after a government meeting that was broadcast on television.

Giorgi Gakharia announced the decision criticizing the court which, he said, could endanger “the health and life” of citizens by politically polarizing the country.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to reach a common understanding on this issue with my team and I decided to resign. I hope that this step will help to reduce polarization in our political space, as I believe that polarization and confrontation are the greater risks for the future and economic development of our country, ”said Gakharia.

Opponent Nika Melia, leader of the National Unified Movement (MNU), a party founded by the ex-president in exile, Mikheil Saakachvili, was accused of organizing “acts of violence” in 2019.

The Georgia court on Wednesday ordered pre-trial detention and the opposition leader could face a nine-year sentence.

Gakharia’s statement states that although Melia “never respected the law” and called for the “takeover of Parliament” on June 20, 2019, the decision to detain him presents unacceptable risks and unduly complicates the task of economic recovery and pandemic management.

Melia’s supporters accuse the authorities of political persecution and warned that they will resist attempts by the police to put him in pre-trial detention.

Nika Melia is currently in Tbilisi at the party headquarters where a meeting was held on Wednesday, which was attended by almost all opposition political formations that showed support for the convict.

The arrest of Melia by the police can aggravate the political crisis in the country which started right after the elections last October.

The opposition accuses the government of electoral fraud.

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