There will be no early elections in Georgia: PM Garibashvili
Ruling party says no to snap elections
There will be no early elections and no political prisoners in Georgia, said Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili after meeting with several European diplomats, in particular, with the personal representative of the President of the European Council Christian Danielson. He has come for the second time to help resolve the protracted political crisis in Georgia.
At the same time, Garibashvili confirmed his readiness to continue a constructive dialogue with the opposition in order to reach an agreement as soon as possible:
“We are a result-oriented party that will make concrete decisions.”
PM Garibashvili says the dialogue with the opposition continues, and the prime minister hopes that an agreement will be reached.
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At the same time, Garibashvili again accused the opposition of disrupting previous negotiations.
“The opposition disrupted the dialogue. We are ready to make a really reasonable and fair compromise. Now it’s up to the opposition. The issue of early elections is closed, there are no political prisoners in our country, they were under [ex-President Mikheil] Saakashvili,” Garibashvili said.
Special Representative of the Head of the European Council Christian Danielson will resume meetings with the opposition and the government from March 29. He came to Georgia for the second time in the last month.
The first visit of the Swedish diplomat Danielson lasted from 12 to 19 March, but the parties did not achieve any results in the negotiations. Danielson even stayed in Georgia three days longer than planned due to the lack of significant progress.
The opposition reiterated that it would not give up two main demands – early parliamentary elections and the release of political prisoners. The authorities have warned that they should not expect a compromise from them on the issue of early elections.
The political crisis in Georgia began after the parliamentary elections in October 2020. The opposition did not recognize the election results and gave up its seats in parliament. As a result, for the first time in history, a virtually one-party parliament operates in the country.
The situation worsened in February 2021, when, as a result of a special operation, Nika Melia, the leader of the most rated opposition party, United National Movement, was arrested. Political processes are now taking place on the streets, where the opposition and civic activists hold constant rallies. There are two main demands: the release of political prisoners and the announcement of early parliamentary elections.
Several rounds of talks have already taken place with the mediation of the US Ambassador and other diplomats accredited in Georgia. The moderator was also one of the most influential European officials, President of the European Council Charles Michel. Then, for almost a week, the talks in Tbilisi were facilitated by his personal representative Christian Danielson, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili was invited to Brussels to discuss the situation.
But all the meetings and tours were in vain. Both sides – the authorities and the opposition – accuse each other of disrupting the negotiations.