PM Garibashvili Hints Ending ‘Pointless’ Talks with Opposition
The Georgian Dream Government and opposition came at odds over the negotiations after Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said “we will not have time to lose on these pointless and absolutely unproductive negotiations.”
PM Garibashvili slammed the opposition for “obstinacy” over their key demand of early elections, which he said the ruling party will not discuss anymore. The Prime Minister’s remarks came as the Government and boycotting opposition failed again on the night of March 30-31 to sign EU-mediated consensus document over ending months-long political impasse.
“There are no doubts about the legitimacy of results” of October 31 parliamentary elections, the Georgian PM stressed.
The Prime Minister accused the opposition of not having “the courage and rationality” to sign the agreement proposed by the European Council President’s Special Envoy Christian Danielsson, as it did not include a provision related the snap election demand.
The United National Movement’s Salome Samadashvili retorted that PM’s statement “confirms” the Georgian Dream did not want the talks yield results.
European Georgia party’s Gigi Tsereteli stressed that the opposition’s demands for uprooting “politicized justice,” also for resolving the crisis through elections cannot be considered “obstinate.”
“The government continues its tradition of blaming others, when it was completely clear they could have made certain compromises not to wreck the negotiations,” he noted.
Tsereteli said the ruling party statements on refusing to talk with certain opposition groups will only “deepen the crisis further.”
Christian Danielsson’s second mission to mediate Georgia’s crisis ended without success as he departed on March 31 to Brussels, where he will consult with European Council President Charles Michel.
President Michel initiated the mediation on March 1 during his Tbilisi visit. The mediation came after the detention of top opposition leader Nika Melia on February 23, coming a few hours after PM Irakli Garibashvili’s return as Prime Minister. PM Garibashvili replaced Giorgi Gakharia, who resigned after refusing to greenlight Melia’s detention.
But Georgia’s political crisis began in November, when the major opposition parties declared refusal to enter the new Parliament, citing “fraudulent” general elections on October 31. Post-election talks between GD and opposition, facilitated by the EU and U.S. Ambassadors, were stalled in early December and resumed only after President Michel’s impromptu mediation night on March 1.
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