Ruling Georgian Dream party chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze, former PM Giorgi Gakharia’s new party, and the United National Movement are trading accusations after Kobakhidze has alleged that the UNM planned a coup in February, with Gakharia possibly being involved in it.
MP Kobakhidze told Rustavi 2 TV yesterday that back in February, Prime Minister Gakharia suddenly broke ranks on detaining UNM leader Nika Melia and asked for 2-3 days postponement of Melia’s detention. He said this was just as the GD received the news “from our people in Kyiv” on February 17, a day before Gakharia’s resignation, that the UNM was planning a coup, forming the “alternative government” with some Interior and Defense Ministry officials involved.
“Draw the conclusions yourself!” suggested the governing party chairperson.
Kobakhidze also said the Georgian Dream leadership did not inform then-PM Gakharia about the February 17 reports from Kyiv, as there were “doubts” already about him. He further claimed the coup plan involved former President Mikheil Saakashvili, wanted UNM leader-in-exile, returning to Georgia on February 19 through Sarpi, the Black Sea village on the Turkish-Georgian border.
Kakhaber Kemoklidze, former National Security Council Chief of Staff, and Gakharia’s teammate dismissed today Kobakhidze’s allegations as “primitive lies.” Kemoklidze accused Kobakhidze of damaging state institutions and national security with yesterday’s “inadequate remarks.”
“There are no red lines anymore for the current ruling party leadership, which is ready to trample down on the state interests to keep power,” Kemoklidze asserted and called for an investigation into Kobakhidze’s allegations.
He said, Kobakhidze’s remarks, if true, meant the governing party chair remained silent for four months about the coup plot, “involving the Prime Minister, [and] those policemen and soldiers that still serve the ranks of the Georgian Defense and Police.”
Khatia Dekanoidze of the United National Movement also dismissed Kobakhidze’s allegations as “silly” and “absurd.”