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Parliament Terminates UNM MP Nika Melia’s Mandate

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With 88 votes in favor and zero against, the parliamentary majority terminated MP mandate of Nika Melia, member of the opposition United National Movement (UNM) on December 12. Opposition and independent lawmakers boycotted the vote.

This follows the decision of Tbilisi City Court on December 2, which found Melia guilty of abuse of office in forcing the Cartu Bank – of the current leader of the Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili – into bankruptcy in 2013. Melia served as the head of the National Bureau of Enforcement of Sanctions at the time.

Speaking to Mtavari Arkhi TV, Melia said “there was noting unexpected” in the decision, which he considers a consistent effort on behalf of the ruling party to put him  behind the bars.

Melia was charged with inciting violence during the protests of June 20-21 2019 and his immunity was lifted by the parliament on June 26. On July 2, the Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a lower court imposing a bail on Melia and ruled that he will also have to wear an ankle bracelet, so that the police can monitor his movements.

Despite the sanctions, Melia pledged to act with “even more energy, enthusiasm and motivation” against Ivanishvili.

According to Article 39.5 of the Georgian Constitution, an MP mandate shall be terminated once the final guilty verdict of the court has entered into legal force. The Parliament has to make a formal decision on suspending an MP mandate within 15 days after the judgment enters into legal force.

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