Police detain son of the ruling party candidate for stabbing opposition activists in Georgia
Police detain son of the ruling Georgian Dream candidate for stabbing UNM activists
Eleven days before the municipal elections, two opposition activists who traveled to the southern Georgian town of Dmanisi to meet with supporters were stabbed and hospitalized. The opposition blamed the ruling party for the incident. The police detained one of the attackers – the son of a candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream party.
David Dautashvili who was arrested for stabbing two supporters of the opposition United National Movement party is the son of Mikhail Dautashvili, a majoritarian candidate from the ruling Georgian Dream party in the October 2 municipal elections.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the incident took place during a pre-election meeting – a verbal altercation escalated into a fight, the accused stabbed supporters of the United National Movement in the face.
The crime is punishable by 3-6 years in prison.
What happened in Dmanisi
The incident took place on September 21 in the village of Gantiadi in the Dmanisi municipality. United National Movement mayoral candidate Giorgi Tatuashvili and Progress and Freedom party leader Kakha Okriashvili met with supporters during the pre-election campaign.
Kakha Okriashvili said that the attackers are activists of the Georgian Dream, the very people who attacked him and his supporters during the last elections in 2020.
“We came together with the mayoral candidate to meet with the population. When we drove through the city in a car, at first they began to insult us, to whistle. When we stopped at the headquarters … 20-30 people rushed to us, right there, 500 meters from the headquarters [of the ruling party], shouting, cursing. All this was recorded on video”, Kakha Okriashvili said in an interview with Pirveli TV channel.
Giorgi Tatuashvili claims that the attack was organized by the state security service:
“We saw how the SSS agents planned, organized, and carried out the attack. Everyone was focused on thwarting the free election campaign and spreading fear”.
Mikhail Dautashvili, the Georgian Dream candidate in Dmanisi, denied Okriashvili’s accusations.
“They came with signals, with insults … How did you know that it was my son? .. Maybe it was someone that just looked like him? … Maybe they themselves hurt each other, there was some kind of quarrel between them … We don’t need to attack anyone, we are the winners. They are annoyed because they have lost their positions”, Mikhail Dautashvili told the Mtavari Archi TV channel.
The chairman of the ruling party, Irakli Kobakhidze, condemned the incident and said that the party is not responsible for the behavior of specific people.
“What happened in Dmanisi is absolutely unjustified and unacceptable. As for responsibility, this is the responsibility of specific individuals who participated [in the attack] … A person was wounded by some degenerate. What responsibility should I take upon myself for this?”, said Irakli Kobakhidze.
After the incident, representatives of the United National Movement demanded that all those involved in the incident be removed from the elections and those involved in the incident should be arrested.