“I believe that there is a need for immediate de-escalation of the situation and easing of tensions, which needs, first of all, a real constructive dialogue.” – President Salome Zurabishvili.
President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili responded to the recent developments and tension in the country related to the expected detention of UNM Chairman Nika Melia, highlighting the need for de-escalation of the situation and constructive dialogue between the parties.
“Nine months ago, I made a personally difficult and painful decision for society that was aimed at maintaining state stability, and which served to prevent a political crisis and polarization.
“Unfortunately, polarization, tensions and confrontation continue to increase on a daily basis. Putting the electoral results declared legitimate under question, using any type of disobedience, and encouraging social and public protests serves only to to weaken and destabilize the country.
“This can lead to dire consequences – losing public confidence in democratic institutions is tantamount to setting a crushing precedent, not only for us but for democracies stronger than us. Respecting the election result and acknowledging loss is the cornerstone of democracy! The rejection of these democratic principles pleases only those forces, inside and outside the country, who put their political ambitions above the interests of the country and those in the region who perceive Georgia’s stability and democracy as a threat.
“Today, I held a meeting with representatives of the diplomatic corps and discussed the current situation in detail. I believe that there is a need for immediate de-escalation of the situation and easing of tensions, which need, first of all, a real constructive dialogue so that these processes do not damage the stability of the country and its international image.
“Through my experience, I am ready to support all forms of dialogue, but I am convinced that compromise is only justified when both sides are ready for constructive dialogue and not when concessions are perceived as weakness, or even more so when it can be seen as someone’s own victory. Constructive dialogue is also opposed to the imposition of preconditions and the radicalization of processes.
“I, as the guarantor of this country’s independence, sovereignty, Europeanness, democratic development and therefore stability, reflecting on the interests of the country and of every citizen, believe that we will all be victorious through calm and development.
“I hope that the Prime Minister-nominee and his future government will be able to end this severe process and will not allow anyone to put personal political ambitions above the country’s interests and endanger those institutions that are the foundation for a democratic and legal state,” reads the President’s statement released on the evening of February 18.
Yesterday, the Georgian Dream nominated Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili as a candidate for Prime Minister.
For the record, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned on Thursday morning explaining that he considers it unjust to arrest UNM Chairman Nika Melia in conditions when there is a danger of political escalation. Gakharia said the reason for his resignation is that he could not reach an agreement with the team on Melia’s case. In response, the MIA temporarily postponed the planned detention of Melia.
By Ana Dumbadze
Related Story: GD Presents Irakli Garibashvili as Candidate for PM