Георгий Гахария: в Грузии политзаключенных не существует, точка!
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Giorgi Gakharia: there are no political prisoners in Georgia, period!

“There are no political prisoners in Georgia, period! There is no political justice in Georgia, another period,” Gaharia said.

He also stressed that the authorities will fulfil all their obligations to Georgia’s strategic partners.

Thus, the head of the Georgian government reacted to the open letter of the European Parliament deputy Andrius Kubilius. He criticized the Georgian judicial system, supporting the accusations of the Georgian opposition, which claims that there are political prisoners in Georgian prisons.

Since the summer of 2019, the Georgian opposition has been demanding from the ruling party the promised Ivanishvili election reform, during which parliamentary elections of single-mandate deputies should be cancelled. There is a strong opinion that in the case of a proportional election scheme the Georgian Dream party will receive fewer seats.

In November 2019, the ruling party drafted this bill, but it did not gain the necessary constitutional majority, as part of the single-mandate from the Georgian Dream refused to vote for it. After that, the opposition began to regularly hold protests. The demand for reform was supplemented by the requirement to release the convicted members of opposition parties, who were called “political prisoners.” The opposition began to support European deputies and members of the US Congress.

On March 8, opposition parties and Georgian Dream made an agreement. The opposition pledged to stop the rally, and the authorities to reduce the number of single-mandate candidates from 73 to 30 and increase the number of seats on party lists according to the 120/30 formula.

A promise was also made not to use the judicial system for political purposes. Representatives of the opposition parties regarded this as a promise to release their associates.

The leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, intends to “repeat the trick” and refuse to fulfil promises. This statement was made by Roman Gotsiridze, chairman of the Georgian parliamentary faction National Movement.

According to the deputy, this is evidenced by the statement of the Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.

“Apparently, Ivanishvili decided to repeat his favourite trick and refuse to fulfil the agreement. As can be seen from today’s statement by his representative Giorgi Gakharia, they are going to abandon the transition to the 120/30 electoral system and leave political prisoners in prison,” Gotsiridze said.

He emphasized that without fulfilling these two conditions he would consider the parliamentary elections to be held in October illegitimate.