Protesters hold candles demanding to release former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, Tbilisi, Georgia, October 10, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

13 October 2021, 19:19

Three opposition parties refuse to join rally in support of Saakashvili

THIS MESSAGE (MATERIAL) HAS BEEN CREATED AND (OR) DISTRIBUTED BY A FOREIGN MASS MEDIUM PERFORMING FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT, AND (OR) BY A RUSSIAN LEGAL ENTITY PERFORMING FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT.

Members of the “European Georgia”, “Lelo”, and “Girchi” Parties urged their colleagues to focus on the second round of municipal elections, and not on the release of Mikhail Saakashvili. The oppositionists announced that they would not take part in the action planned by the “United National Movement” (UNM) Party.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 1, Mikhail Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia, returned to his homeland, and on the same day, he was imprisoned in Rustavi, and went on a hunger strike. On October 10, Nikoloz Kipshidze, his personal doctor, said that Saakashvili's health had deteriorated. On October 12, his mother also spoke about her son's worsened health condition.

In Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili was sentenced in absentia to three years of imprisonment in a case on abuse of power when pardoning those convicted for the murder of businessman Sandro Girgvliani and to six years of imprisonment in a case on the 2005 beating of MP Valery Gelashvili. The former president of Georgia also faces other charges.

The opposition “European Georgia” Party will not join the rally planned on October 14 with the demand to release Mikhail Saakashvili. This was announced by party chair Giga Bokeriya. While explaining his decision, Giga Bokeriya said that the action, initiated by the “United National Movement” Party, was an expression of support for the specific political leader.

“Some of Mikhail Saakashvili’s supporters created <...> the expectation that Mikhail Saakashvili should be released, and that without his release, there is no sense in going to the second round [of the municipal elections]. According to the general approach, the release of Mikhail Saakashvili is the key to the defeat of the regime [of Bidzina Ivanishvili, a founder of the ruling ‘Georgian Dream’ Party]. I consider that to be a wrong expectation,” Giga Bokeriya said.

Mamuka Khazaradze, the leader of the “Lelo” Party, also refused to support the action in support of Mikhail Saakashvili. He explained that members of the “Lelo” Party are not aware of the plans of the organizers regarding the further actions of the protesters.

A similar statement was made by Sandro Rakviashvili, a member of the “Girchi” Party. “We will not join the action,” he said.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 13, 2021 at 01:29 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: The Caucasian Knot;

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