Early elections in Georgia out of the question – PM Garibashvili
Following a meeting with the opposition mediated by President of the European Council Charles Michel on March 1, Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili reiterated that the question of holding early parliamentary elections in Georgia would not be considered.
“Our position on the subject of early elections has not changed, this is a red line, this is an issue that will not be discussed. During yesterday’s meeting I also said that there are no legal grounds for holding early parliamentary elections in the country,” Garibashvili said.
Garibashvili added that the government will act in the best interests of the Georgian people, and not at the whim of a political party.
As for the detention of the leader of the opposition United National Movement party Nika Melia, Garibashvili explained that the government does not and cannot interfere in the affairs of justice. The prime minister went on to say that if members of Melia’s party or his relatives post bail he will be released.
PM Garibashvili also commented on the scheduled picket outside of the parliament building and said that the actions of the opposition and its supporters are ‘counterproductive and jeopardize the process of negotiations.’
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President of the European Council Charles Michel, who visited Tbilisi yesterday, announced the meeting between representatives of the government and the opposition bloc shortly after his own meeting with Prime Minister Garibashvili.
Members of opposition parties who commented on the meeting noted that Michel had raised very specific issues that needed to be addressed.
They explained that Michel proposed six main topics for discussion: the release of political prisoners, the solution of the problem of politically motivated justice, the redistribution of powers in parliament, facilitation/mediation, and the issue of holding early elections.