Three members of a local NGO, Free Zone, which is affiliated with the opposition United National Movement (UNM), has held a special press conference wherein they said the UNM is planning post-election unrest in Georgia.
Post-election unrest is predicted
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 28
The people said they met Georgia’s ex-President, now Odessa Governor, Mikheil Saakashvili in Ukraine several days ago and were tasked with holding post-election rallies as if the election outcomes were fabricated by the current Georgian Dream government.
“We were told that during the rallies we must cause confrontation and provocations and the situation should be broadcasted by Rustavi 2. Through a television mobilization of UNM supporters, the plan was to block state institutions. Casualties during the unrest were forecast as well,” Beka Kaladze from Free Zone stated.
After making the statement, the people quit Free Zone and were summoned by Georgia’s State Security Service for questioning.
In the wake of a question session lasting four hours, the State Security Service launched an investigation into their claims.
Other members of the Free Zone stressed the already ex-members of the Free Zone were bribed by the current authorities and the “script for the statement” was written at Georgia’s State Security Service.
The same was repeated by UNM members, who accused the current authorities of “misleading” people and “staging provocations”.
“We will win the elections without any unrest,” UNM member Irma Nadirashvili said.
The current authorities and the leaders of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party say “any unrest serves the aim of the UNM and not the Government”.
However, the Government says they won’t let any confrontation interfere with the election process.
Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili said there would be “more policemen” on the streets during and after the elections to ensure a peaceful environment.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s ex-First Lady Sandra Roelofs, who is number two in the UNM party list and the UNM majoritarian candidate in western Zugdidi, Samegrelo region, has stated “Misha [Saakashvili] will celebrate victory with his people, even if he has to dig a tunnel from Odessa to Sololaki (District in Tbilisi), he will be with us”.
Responding to the claims, GDDG members and officials stated that if Saakashvili travelled to Georgia, he would be detained as he still remains officially wanted for several crimes.
Saakashvili, the third President of Georgia, served in the role in 2004-2007 and again in 2008-2013.
The nine-year rule of his UNM party was defeated by the current Georgian Dream authorities in 2012.
In 2014, Saakashvili was charged for several crimes, including exceeding of official power and embezzlement of state money, as well as charges related to the violent dispersal of anti-governmental mass protests on November 7 2007, the unlawful raiding of the Imedi television company by riot police and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.
In 2015, Saakashvili was appointed as Odessa's Governor and took citizenship of Ukraine.
He is no longer a citizen of Georgia as, based on Georgian law, taking the citizenship of any other country means losing of Georgian nationality automatically.
Only the President of Georgia has the right to grant dual citizenship. However, the current President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has stated he did never intended to grant dual citizenship to Saakashvili.