Opposition parties pointed fingers at Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili for “encouraging” today’s violence that erupted at a counter rally against the Pride March, since canceled, leading to multiple attacks on journalists and mob raids on Shame Movement and Tbilisi Pride offices.
PM Garibashvili alleged early on July 5 that “radical opposition” headed by Ex-President, United National Movement’s Mikheil Saakashvili is behind organizing the Pride March to sow “unrest” among the public, and argued Tbilisi Pride should call off holding the event in an open space due to “civil confrontation” risks.
Below is a compilation of the reactions from some of the key opposition parties:
Tina Bokuchava, United National Movement MP: “The Prime Minister, who should be the guarantor of security, stability and human rights protection in the country, directly encouraged the violence and called for violent acts during the government meeting. Garibashvili accused the UNM and Mikheil Saakashvili of organizing Tbilisi Pride and paved the way for violence, instead of doing everything so that journalists, cameramen, and citizens were not injured, and that human rights were protected in the country.”
Giga Bokeria, European Georgia Chair: “Today is a bad day for the Georgian democracy. … There is an open alliance between the [Georgian Dream founder Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s regime and pro-Putin violent groups. These people are openly saying they are not only against one group of minorities, but they are in confrontation with the idea of independent Georgia and its Western choice. … They symbolically tore down the EU flag.”
Lelo for Georgia: “With its position, the government refused ensuring constitutional rights and order. This means that a typical Russian-style governance model is being implemented in the country. The government turned its back on the civilized world founded on rule of law…”
Strategy Aghmashenebeli: “The state is responsible for everything that is happening in the country today in the name of faith and morals – assaults on journalists, raids on offices. The government, instead of fulfilling its duty to ensure order and that everyone is equal before the law, cannot surpass its narrow agenda and encourages and organizes the violence.”
- Tbilisi Pride March Cancelled
- Far-Right Groups Massively Attack Journalists
- PM Says Pride March ‘Unreasonable,’ Organized by ‘Radical Opposition’