Transparency International (TI), a global anti-corruption watchdog, said on February 24 that the recent developments in Georgia, including United National Movement Chair Nika Melia’s detention, “demonstrate an extremely high degree of concentration of power and a worrying slide towards state capture.”
The watchdog said that “the erosion” of the rule of law, coupled with “ongoing attacks” against outspoken CSOs, is resulting in “serious democratic backsliding” in Georgia, which was “long seen as a positive example amongst post-Soviet states.”
TI said it is particularly worried that “lack of judicial independence” and continued ruling Georgian Dream party “influence” on law enforcement is used to target political opponents.
The decision to raid the UNM officer and detain its leader will “further aggravate” the country’s political crisis, the watchdog highlighted. It urged the Georgian authorities to “engage in political dialogue” to safeguard the country’s “democratic future” and create an appropriate environment for implementing “meaningful anti-corruption policies.”