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EU, U.S. Lawmakers Urge UNM to Enter Parliament

Following the release of United National Movement Chairperson Nika Melia from pretrial detention, U.S. and European lawmakers have called on Georgia’s largest opposition party to sign the EU-brokered April 19 deal and enter Parliament.

U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on May 12 said: “Now that Mr. Melia has been released, I expect to see those political parties that have not yet signed on to last month’s agreement make good on their promises, sign the agreement, take their seats in Georgia’s Parliament, and work alongside the other signatories to close this messy chapter in Georgia’s political history.”

MEP Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany) also encouraged the UNM to lift its boycott and join the Georgian legislature on May 11, noting that “valid criticism” towards the ruling Georgian Dream party “resonates much better from inside the plenary than being shouted from outside.”

MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (Greens/EFA, Germany) on her part underscored that with the April 19 agreement, the Georgian Parliament “became much more fair and now offers a strong platform to the opposition.” “Enough with hardline political games that only harm Georgia,” she said.

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