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Georgian PM resigns over plan to arrest opposition leader

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation during a briefing on Thursday.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation Thursday, after plans to arrest opposition leader Nikanor Melia caused a rift within his party.

A Tbilisi court ordered Melia into pre-trial detention Wednesday evening over allegations he organized “mass violence” during anti-government protests in 2019. 

“Unfortunately I was unable to reach a consensus with my team on this issue, so I have decided to resign,” Gakharia said, according to DW. He added that the government crisis posed “a risk to the health and lives of our citizens and increase political polarization in the country.”

After the announcement, the Georgian ministry of internal affairs announced it had “temporarily postponed the planned detention” of Melia.

The U.S. embassy in Georgia issued a statement Thursday calling for calm in the midst of “the current dangerous situation,” which it said stemmed from “decades-long problems with the electoral system and the judicial system.”

The embassy added that it “is imperative the authorities and opposition exercise maximum restraint this morning. The way to address the important issues at stake is through peaceful negotiation. We urge all involved to remain calm and avoid violence.”


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