Georgian Prime Minister resigns due to political crisis
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has resigned.
Gakharia explained that one of the main reasons for his resignation is a court’s decision made yesterday to have opposition United National Movement party leader Nika Melia remanded into custody for failure to pay bail.
He said that he considers the arrest of Nika Melia unjustified in conditions where there is a danger of political escalation.
According to Gakharia, the reason for his resignation is that he could not come to an agreement with the team.
“Unfortunately, I was not able to come to a consensus with my team on this issue, so I decided to retire. I want to believe that this step will help reduce polarization in the political space of our country, because I am convinced that polarization and confrontation between us is the greatest risk for the future of our country,” Gakharia said.
Gakharia’s decision was preceded by statements by the US Embassy and US Senator Jim Risch.
The US Embassy said in a statement that the current crisis stems from years of problems with the electoral and judicial systems.
“The current dangerous situation that arose after the court decision against Nika Melia is associated with many years of problems in the electoral and judicial systems.
It is imperative that the authorities and the opposition show maximum restraint this morning.
The only way to solve the most important issues is through peace negotiations. We urge everyone to stay calm and avoid violence”, the embassy said in a statement.
In an interview with Voice of America, US Senator Jim Risch said that the decision to arrest Melia is dangerous for Georgian democracy.
“The arrest of Mr. Melia is another politically motivated arrest, which has become a very frequent occurrence and will inevitably complicate the ongoing negotiations between Georgian political parties. My fears about the deterioration of the independence of the judicial system in Georgia were exacerbated by today’s events, ”the senator said.
Yesterday the Tbilisi City Court ruled to arrest the head of the United National Movement Nika Melia.
Melia is accused of attempting a coup d’état. The prosecution says that on June 20, 2019, during protests against the invitation to the Georgian parliament of Russian State Duma deputy Sergei Gavrilov, Melia urged the protesters to enter the parliament building.
The prosecutor’s office went to court demanding the arrest of the politician after Melia refused to post bail, established by the court as a preventive measure.
The Georgian parliament voted to deprive Melia of parliamentary immunity for a second time several days back.