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President Michel Appoints Envoy to Mediate Georgia Crisis Talks

European Council President Charles Michel, in cooperation with High Representative Josep Borrell, mandated Christian Danielsson, European Commission’s Representative in Sweden, to mediate the political crisis talks between the ruling Georgian Dream and opposition parties, European Council’s press service reported on March 8.

Mr. Danielsson will arrive in Georgia in the coming days to mediate the relaunched dialogue between the government and the opposition, while “working closely” with EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell.

According to the press service, President Michel and top EU diplomat Borrell “encourage all political actors in Georgia to commit fully to the dialogue in a constructive spirit and with a view to pursuing mutually agreeable outcomes, in the interest of a stable, democratic and reform-oriented Georgia, able to successfully advance on its pro-European path.”

Christian Danielsson formerly served as Permanent Representative for Sweden before becoming Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission in 2011. In 2013 he became Director-General for Enlargement and in 2015 was appointed Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

Earlier Developments

After nearly a three-month-long stalemate, the Georgian Dream Government and the opposition agreed to continue the dialogue on March 1 following the mediation by President Charles Michel, whose visit to Georgia came amid a deepening crisis.

Major opposition parties reject the results of the October 2020 parliamentary elections, citing “massive fraud.” 54 of 60 opposition MPs are still boycotting the new 150-member Parliament.

Tensions did run deeper in late February, after the detention of top opposition leader Nika Melia, only a few hours after PM Garibashvili’s election as Prime Minister. PM Garibashvili replaced Giorgi Gakharia, who resigned after refusing to greenlight Melia’s detention.

Melia, the chairperson of the former ruling United National Movement party, charged for inciting violence during June 2019 anti-occupation unrest outside the Parliament, refused to pay additional bail. The bail was imposed on him after he threw monitoring tag – as a sign of protest – during one of the post-election rallies in November.

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


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