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Saakashvili Says UNM Shall Sign Agreement after Melia Leaves Prison

The exiled leader of the United National Movement, former President Mikheil Saakashvili called on his party today to sign the EU-proposed April 19 agreement to end Georgia’s political crisis once UNM Chair Nika Melia is released from prison.

Saakashvili’s statement comes as the UNM and European Georgia were the only two parties to not sign the EU compromise proposal at the Presidential Palace yesterday, although Salome Samadashvili, UNM leader, chose to sign the agreement individually.

Despite the document containing “several shortcomings” and failing to fully end the crisis, Saakashvili said it allows releasing Nika Melia and pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV shareholder Giorgi Rurua.

“There is a key second point in this agreement as well,” the ex-President went on, noting that “a referendum on ousting the Georgian Dream, and Ivanishvili [GD founder], from power, was practically scheduled in autumn with the local elections.”

Referring to the upcoming local elections as a “referendum,” the UNM leader is alluding to the point in the agreement based on which early parliamentary elections shall be called in 2022 if the ruling Georgian Dream party receives less than 43% of the votes in the local self-government polls.

Saakashvili, exiled from Georgia in 2013 for fear of alleged political persecution from the Georgian Dream party, also announced that he plans to arrive to Georgia ahead of the local elections. “I will physically be with you, regardless of the risk this will entail for my life or my freedom,” he said.

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


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