Giorgi Gakharia, the Prime Minister of Georgia has resigned from the position to avoid more “political polarization” following the announcement of plans to arrest opposition politician Nika Melia.
Gakharia said in a statement that he was resigning due to disagreements within his own team over enforcing an arrest order for Nika Melia, chairman of Georgia’s main political opposition, the United National Movement (UNM).
Unfortunately, I could not make an agreement with the ruling party (that it was not the right time for Melia’s detention) and have decided to resign. I hope that my step will help to decrease polarisation and rivalry inside the country which poses serious threats to Georgia’s future
The Prime Minister further stated that if the enforcement of justice threatens the life and health of citizens or creates the possibility for destabilisation in the country, it is unacceptable.
Melia had been ordered to be placed in in pre-trial detention Wednesday evening after a Tbilisi court refused bail for the 41-year-old who is accused of organizing “mass violence” during anti-government protests in June 2019.
The opposition leader had refused to pay an increased bail fee, arguing he had already posted bail in 2019. He said the charges were “trumped-up” to target political opposition.
“The case against me is judicial nonsense. Paying bail twice is nonsense. It is part of ongoing repression against the opposition,” he told AFP news agency on Wednesday February 17.