GDDG Leaders on Akhalkalaki Incident, UNM ‘Provocations’

Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze said today that the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) stands in solidarity with their team member Enzel Mkoyan, whose brother has been named among the attackers on the UNM-led coalition’s election headquarters in Akhalkalaki district on October 30.

UNM-led coalition members have been claiming that dozens of GDDG supporters, including MP Mkoyan’s brother, attacked their office and injured some of their representatives who were later taken to hospital in Tbilisi.

Speaker Kobakhidze told reporters today that the Akhalkalaki incident was “unfortunate,” and argued it was caused by UNM’s “provocative actions”, which, he said “has been proven by evidence.”

He also offered “full support” to “our team-mate” Mkoyan. “The conflict was ignited by UNM, whose representatives provoked [others] at one of the petrol stations… I call upon the UNM to restrain from [further] provocations. Such provocations will be tackled very harshly, of course, within the confines of law,” Kobakhidze stated.

The Speaker believes that the incident was ignited by UNM, since the opposition party was “irritated” by the ruling party-backed candidate, Salome Zurabishvili’s “very high results” in Akhalkalaki.

Akhalkalaki district is located in Georgia’s Samtskhe-Javakheti region and has a majority of ethnic Armenians. Enzel Mkoyan, local strongman, has been an MP since 1999, always running on ruling party ticket – after stints with the Citizens Union, and the United National Movement, he now represents GDDG.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), Salome Zurabishvili received 59.46% (9,861) and Grigol Vashadze 23.31% (3,866) of votes in Akhalkalaki.

The Majority leader Archil Talakvadze echoed Kobakhidze’s position, accusing UNM of carrying out an “indecent campaign” against GDDG supporters, also through social media.

“This is a really violent campaign with [personal] attacks, and [physical] assaults. This is what our society has refused [to live with] in 2012 and Georgia has no intention to revert to this style of attacks and confrontation,” Talakvadze said at today’s news briefing.

He then addressed GDDG supporters that “if these people [referring to UNM] will try to affect the results of elections using their old signature moves” they will “get a very principled response to their attacks and assaults.”

Interior Ministry, carries out investigation into the Akhalkalaki incident under the article 239 of the Criminal Code that refers to hooliganism.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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