European mediation between Georgian opposition, gov't ends without result
Georgian government, opposition talks end
A final 10-hour meeting between the opposition and the government in Georgia mediated by European officials ended in failure on March 18.
It was the final in a series of meetings organized with the mediation of the personal envoy of the President of the European Council Christian Danielson and which had been ongoing for nearly a week.
At a press conference, Danielson said that there is agreement between the parties on certain issues, but there are issues on which consensus has not been reached.
“It is up to the leaders to find a way out of the political crisis,” Danielson said.
He leaves on March 19, after which he will report to the President of the European Council Charles Michel on the situation in Georgia.
How and why the political crisis began in Georgia
The united opposition declared rigged parliamentary elections on October 31, 2020 and began demanding new elections. Opposition MPs (with the exception of six) resigned from their seats in parliament. As a result, for the first time in the history of Georgia, there is actually a one-party parliament operating here, where only the ruling Georgian Dream party is represented.
The authorities consider the elections valid and refuse to appoint new ones. All international organizations and diplomatic missions also believe that the elections were free, although they were held with many violations.
“I am very sorry that after so many hours of work we were unable to demonstrate neither the culture [of dialogue] nor European standards. And I want to openly declare that [the right-wing party] Georgian Dream is to blame for everything,” Giorgi Vashadze, leader of Strategy Agmashenebeli told reporters.
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Giga Bokeria, one of the leaders of the European Georgia party, said the ruling party took a politically offensive stance on the issue of political prisoners and early elections. The government has shown what it is”, Bokeria said.
“They ruined everything,” Zurab Japaridze, said leader Girchi – More Freedom party,
“The claims [of the government] were endless. The negotiators tried to come to a document with which the Georgian Dream would agree. Our proposed document has been revised several times. It became clear that the authorities would not agree to anything, there was no question of compromises,” Japaridze said.
By contrast, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, accused the opposition of disrupting the negotiations and said that “they issued ultimatums that would violate the rule of law.”
“It was an interesting process, there is progress. However, unfortunately, it seems that the opposition was aiming not to reach an agreement,” Kobakhidze said.