The Georgian opposition’s plans to take over the streets in March
At the end of this evening’s protests in downtown Tbilisi, the Georgian opposition announced a programme of action for March 2021: to take over the streets.
There are two goals: the release of the leader of the largest opposition party United National Movement, Nika Melia, and one of the founders of the opposition Mtavari TV channel, Giorgi Rurua, and the scheduling of early parliamentary elections.
The programme includes:
- March 2 – picket of the parliament
- March 5 – picket of the government building
- March 9 – a rally in front of the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- March 11 – rally before the Supreme Court
- March 13 – a large-scale rally in front of the parliament
“The path to freedom is difficult and full of obstacles, but we will not put up with injustice,” Khatia Dekanoidze, one of the leaders of the United National Movement party, said at the rally
UNM chair Melia’s arrest
Nika Melia was detained on February 23 as a result of a special operation at the headquarters of the United National Movement party.
The arrest of one of the opposition leaders further exacerbated the political crisis in the country, which began after the parliamentary elections in October 2020.
The opposition considers the election results to be falsified and does not recognize their results.
Melia’s arrest caused a sharp reaction in the global diplomatic community. Almost all international organizations working in Georgia, as well as ambassadors and Western partners, unanimously condemned the arrest, calling it a ‘step back on the road to democracy.’ They called on the government and the opposition to agree to a dialogue.
Despite the fact that both sides are expressing their readiness to sit down at the negotiating table, so far this has not happened. Before starting a dialogue, the opposition demands the release of political prisoners.