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President Zurabishvili Calls for ‘Constructive Dialogue,’ Scolds Opposition

President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili expressed concern late on February 18 about growing “polarization, tensions, and confrontation” in the country, and pointed accusative fingers at the opposition.

President Zurabishvili underscored the need for “immediate de-escalation of the situation and easing of tensions,” and claimed this would require “a real constructive dialogue.”

She stressed, however, that “compromise is only justified when both sides are ready for constructive dialogue” and that “constructive dialogue is also opposed to the imposition of preconditions and the radicalization of processes,” referring to the opposition’s demands towards the ruling Georgian Dream party.

The President also said “putting the electoral results declared legitimate under question, using any type of disobedience, encouraging social and public protests serve to weaken and destabilize the country,” alluding to the boycotting opposition’s refusal to recognize the results of October 2020 parliamentary elections.

President Zurabishvili warned this could result in “dire consequences,” such as losing public confidence in democratic institutions, “setting a crushing precedent” even for stronger democracies.

Concluding the statement, the President expressed hopes that tapped Prime Minister-nominee Irakli Garibashvili will end the crisis, not allowing anyone “to put personal political ambitions above the country’s interests and endanger those institutions that are the foundation for a democratic and legal state.”

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

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