US DoS: 'We call on the Georgian gov't to create an independent judiciary'
The US State Department has called on the Georgian authorities to rid the judicial system of political bias.
The announcement was made on February 19 and came in reaction to the political crisis in Georgia over the decision to arrest UNM opposition leader Nika Melia and the subsequent resignation of the prime minister.
The US called on the Georgian government to act in line with the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
The statement says that “all parties [the opposition and the Georgian authorities] must refrain from statements or actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions and violence.”
“We call on the Georgian authorities to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law and to work on creating a judicial system that would be free from political bias,” the statement said.
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The decision to arrest the leader of the opposition and the subsequent resignation of the PM – how it happened
The situation in Georgia escalated after a February 17 court sentenced to imprisonment the chairman of the United National Movement party, Nika Melia.
The next morning it became known that the prime minister of the country, Giorgi Gakharia, had resigned: as he said, “because of a disagreement with his team.”
Gakharia said that one of the main reasons for his resignation is the court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Nika Melia. The prime minister said that he considers Melia’s arrest ill-advised at a time when there is a danger of political escalation.
On the same day it became known that Giorgi Gakharia would be replaced by former Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
Parliament must approve the candidacy of the new prime minister within two weeks.