- GD leader accuses UNM, For Georgia, Lelo parties, ombudsperson of warmongering
- Saakashvili would instigate "second Mariupol" in Georgia, PM Garibashvili claims
- President backs Public Defender
- Opposition says GD spreads "gossip," roots for Russia victory
Georgian Dream chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze said anyone who wants or demands the release of jailed Mikheil Saakashvili wants “a war to wage in Georgia,” responding to mounting calls for the medical transfer of the ex-President abroad over his worsening health condition.
Commenting on the recent evaluation by the Public Defender’s group of experts that Saakashvili suffers from “protein starvation,” GD’s Kobakhidze claimed ombudsperson Nino Lomjaria “represents the party of war.”
The ruling party leader claimed that Saakashvili had planned to “stir up” the situation in Georgia with his return ahead of the October 2 local elections and overturn the Government.
After coming to power together with ex-Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, For Georgia party leader, and Mamuka Khazaradze, Lelo party chair, Saakashvili would enter into war with Russia, MP Kobakhidze claimed.
“In 2008, he [Saakashvili] failed to achieve his goals, he only brought Russian tanks into Gori and Senaki,” the GD chair went on, adding “he would now do his maximum for us to see Russian tanks in Tbilisi as well.”
The ruling party chairperson further claimed that any war for Georgia would be more severe than for Ukraine. Anyone who calls on Georgia to join the war on Russia wants “complete humanitarian, economic and political catastrophe for our country,” he argued.
He stressed that the GD Government would not allow a “bloody war” to happen between Georgians on one hand and the Abkhaz and the S. Ossetians on the other. “Maybe Saakashvili or others want this, but we must absolutely rule it out.”
The GD chair’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also claimed that Saakashvili had aimed for “destabilization,” “revolution” and “mass murders,” when returning to Georgia.
“There were specific reports that the war was to start in Ukraine in November or December,” the Georgian PM further claimed, going on to argue Saakashvili’s return also served to prepare grounds for “opening a second frontline” in Georgia.
“If Saakashvili was in power today, there would be a war here,” PM Garibashvili claimed. “They would instigate a second Mariupol here.”
“I know I disappointed every fake friend who wished for war in my country, in your country,” PM Garibashvili claimed, alluding to the GD’s claims that some Ukrainian officials wish to see a “second frontline” opened in Georgia.
President, Public Defender, Opposition React
President Salome Zurabishvili asserted today that “there should not be any talks of some party of war in Georgia.”
In the President’s opinion, the “party of war” does not exist and “no one supports a war in Georgia.”
President Zurabishvili added that she “wants to personally defend the Public Defender,” stressing it is a very important institution especially as Georgia awaits the answer to its EU membership candidacy bid.
Public Defender Nino Lomjaria on her part said yesterday that the Georgian Dream chair’s accusations against her were “unfounded” and “slanderous.”
Such accusations probably are probably an easy track to criticize their opponents, in this case, the Public Defender, she asserted. “Their stance is very unconvincing and ungrounded, however.”
Lomjaria noted that the GD Government has resorted to “political attacks [and] absurd allegations” instead of issuing a “competent” response to the findings by the group of experts on Saakashvili’s worsening health.
In response to the Georgian Dream officials’ accusations, Petre Tsiskarishvili, General Secretary of the United National Movement shot back saying “the party of traitors has been fearmongering about war since Russia invaded Ukraine.”
In this context, Tsiskarishvili argued yesterday that PM Garibashvili spoke “as if” what happened in Mariupol was the fault of Ukraine or its President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy.
He claimed that since the very beginning of hostilities, the GD has been “rooting for Ukraine to disappear altogether from the map of Europe and Russia [to score] a military victory.”
MP David Usupashvili of the Lelo party said on April 28 that the Georgian Dream chairperson’s accusations “stemmed from a sick mindset.”
“These are ramblings, because [Vladimir] Putin began the war, I do not know anyone else either in Georgia or in Ukraine who wages war,” MP Usupashvili stressed, adding the GD leader is “having hallucinations.”
“We no longer have any doubts as to who he roots for in this war,” the Lelo lawmaker said.
Natia Mezvrishvili, one of the leaders of For Georgia party, accused MP Kobakhidze of spreading rumors. “This accusation will collapse on your head, once again confirming that you are a habitual gossiping man, not a dignified chairperson of a party.”
Read also for further context:
- President Zelenskyy on Relations with Georgian Government
- PM: Sanctions Ineffective, Nobody to Stop Bombing of Kyiv
- Georgia Won’t Join Russia Sanctions, PM Says