Ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze said Prime Minister (PM) Giorgi Gakharia, who stepped down today, and the rest of the party disagreed over the timeframe for enforcing the Court’s verdict of sending an opposition leader, Nika Melia, to pretrial detention.
Calling Gakharia’s decision “regrettable,” MP Kobakhidze said the Prime Minister failed to offer his party colleagues “convincing enough arguments” to back his position – apparently, for delaying the enforcement.
MP Kobakhidze said: “not enforcing the law properly is what promotes political radicalization and polarization in the country.”
“The watershed issue [between Gakharia and the party] was, whether the state should position itself firmly,” the ruling party chairperson said, adding that “our responsibility as the government is to firmly and strictly defend the dignity of the state.”
With Gakharia’s resignation, the GD Chairman said the ruling party will focus “entirely on forming a new government,” and that the GD political council “will probably convene tomorrow” to nominate a new Prime Ministerial candidate. He said the government will be formed within the shortest constitutionally defined period.
MP Kobakhidze also endorsed the Interior Ministry’s decision to postpone the enforcement of the court decision to detain UNM leader Melia following the PMs resignation but called on Melia to submit to the law. “Otherwise, the government will ensure the enforcement of the law and his arrest,” he stated.
Giorgi Gakharia resigned this morning, citing disagreements with his party colleagues, following the Tbilisi City Court’s decision to send United National Movement’s Nika Melia, chairperson of the largest opposition party, to pretrial detention. Gakharia expressed concern over the disruptive and polarizing effect the UNM Chairman’s possible detention would have on Georgia’s politics.