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ODIHR Director Concerned about ‘Recent Developments in Georgia’

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Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) tweeted on February 13 that she shares “concerns raised by the international community about recent developments in Georgia that have contributed to the breakdown of important political dialogue.” Gísladóttir encourages all sides to re-engage in this process.

On February 10, the Supreme Court of Georgia found Gigi Ugulava, leader of opposition European Georgia party, guilty of misspending GEL 48 million (USD 17 million) of public money from Tbilisi Development Fund, while serving as the mayor of the capital city, and sentenced him to three years and two months in jail.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, the opposition parties decided to cease electoral reform talks with the ruling Georgian Dream party, and announced a protest rally on Tbilisi’s main Rustaveli Avenue on April 4, where they will unveil a joint action plan for the upcoming parliamentary polls in October.

Major opposition parties slammed the Supreme Court decision as politically motivated, while ruling Georgian Dream party representatives say everyone should be equal before the law.

Jailing of Gigi Ugulava triggered concerns among Georgia’s international partners. On February 12, the European Union stated it is “scrutinizing closely” the Georgian Supreme Court ruling in the case against Gigi Ugulava.

Latvian, Swedish and Lithuanian Foreign Ministers, as well as Estonian Foreign Ministries also released statements expressing their concern about Ugulava case.

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

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