PM: UNM Continues Violence

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtazde commented on the opposition’s protests following the inauguration of the first female Georgian President, Salome Zurabishvili.

The clash occurred on the Telavi-Gurjaani highway after opposition protestors were prevented from entering Telavi on the inauguration day December 16. The opposition convoy had set off from Tbilisi earlier in the morning, holding signs reading ‘No to Salome’. 

10 policemen were hospitalized following the rally on the Telavi-Gurjaani highway, near Velistsikhe, around 30km from Telavi, where the inauguration ceremony took place. Several opposition supporters were also injured and police vehicles were damaged.

“The actions committed by irresponsible and destructive forces cannot endure any criticism,” Prime Minister said in a Facebook live responding to yesterday’s developments near Velistsikhe. 

He said that the former ruling party, United National Movement, which is now in the opposition, “does not leave its traditions, continues violence and create a sense in society as if there are problems in public life.”

“There were too many violations depicted by cameras. Many opposition members have gone beyond the law. I am declaring with a full responsibility that any person, who has committed violence, would be held accountable before the law. We are building a legal state, everyone has the right to express his/her protest peacefully, but what we have seen can not stand any criticism,” he stressed.

Bakhtadze thanked media representatives for being unbiased in their coverage of the inauguration day and expressed his gratitude to the policemen.

“Any country would be proud of such police. I would like to thank them for their patience and high professionalism,” he added.


By Thea Morrison

18 December 2018 11:17