Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said this evening that “against the backdrop of the challenges facing the country, it is time for dialogue, not confrontation.”
The statement comes after the scores of police raided the opposition UNM party headquarters to detain its leader Nika Melia early morning, over the latter’s failure to post increased bail in June 20, 2019 anti-Russian occupation unrest case, in a move decried by the opposition, CSOs, the Public Defender as well as some Georgia’s international partners.
The Prime Minister praised the Interior Ministry for enforcing the law, claiming that the move was “a necessary condition for the reduction of radicalism in politics.”
“Now that the law has been enforced and the state has taken its due place, I would like to call on all political forces who hold the country dear to open a real and earnest dialogue and to talk not about what divides us, but about what must unite us,” said the Prime Minister, who replaced Giorgi Gakharia, who left the post over Melia’s detention.
Noting that “we are ready for real dialog at any time and in any format,” Prime Minister Garibashvili proposed “all reasonable opposition forces enter Parliament, so that we may use the country’s legislature as the main platform for discussion.”
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He said Georgia shall unite around the goals of strengthening the democratic system, overcoming social and economic concerns, and the country’s European Union and NATO membership aspirations.
“One hundred years after the loss of the independence of the First Republic of Georgia and the Sovietization of Georgia, we must once again remember that the state and its independence are the greatest achievements,” PM Garibashvili said, adding that statehood is “a necessary condition” for the country’s Western integration.
“Therefore, protecting the state and its laws is a duty and a responsibility shared by each and every one of us,” noted the Prime Minister.
During his confirmation hearings, Garibashvili “categorically” rejected holding “any negotiations related to early elections,” the key demand of the opposition that is boycotting the new Parliament citing “rigged” October 2020 elections. Garibashvili called Melia “criminal” yesterday, and went on to accuse the United National Movement and other “radical and destructive” opposition groups of attempts to undermine constitutional order.
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