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Sakrebulo member who called doctor Gaprindashvili and his family ‘idiots’ says got stuck in barbed wires while trying to cross ABL to Tskhinvali region

By Levan Abramishvili
Thursday, December 19
The Georgian Dream has decided to expel from their ranks the notorious Sakrebulo member Erekle Kukhianidze, who recently garnered significant attention for insulting the doctor detained by de-facto authorities of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region.

In his Facebook post, Kukhianidze accused famous Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili and his family of provocation after they criticized the Georgian Dream party for holding a rally celebrating Georgia’s presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, where they said there is no time for such festivities.

Kukhianidze’s comments were followed by a major backlash from the opposition and civil society. On December 17, activists gathered in the Tbilisi City Assembly building to demand his resignation, which was followed by an altercation between the police and the protesters, who tried to set up a tent in Kukhianidze’s office.

Beka Davituliani, head of the Georgian Dream faction told the media that according to the majority's decision, Kukhianidze would leave the majority.

“We have gathered following the procedure established by the law and decided for Kukhianidze to leave the majority. Accordingly, we will file a motion for his resignation at the nearest Assembly meeting,” said Davituliani.

Kukhianidze, who holds the position of the Chair of Environmental Protection Commission in the, will retain his mandate as an Assembly member after leaving the position.

As Davituliani explained, there is no legal ground for him to also leave his mandate aside from an official request for resignation. “Therefore, we can’t force him, he has to make the decision,” he added.

Later on December 18, Kukhianidze arrived near the administrative boundary line (ABL) dividing the Tskhinvali region from the rest of Georgia.

Kukhianidze said he was planning to go to the occupied Tskhinvali to meet with the leader of the de-facto regime Anatoly Bibilov. According to the former member of the Tbilisi City Assembly majority, he crossed the ABL on December 17 but had to come back because he couldn’t find the way. Yesterday he attempted to cross the occupation line once more but was stopped by the Georgian law enforcers.

He was sure he would be detained in the de-facto regime-controlled territory, he claimed, so he went prepared and brought his belongings with a handbag. His purpose, he claims, is to meet with Bibilov after which he’s sure that doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili will be released by the de-facto authorities.

“I tried to do it yesterday, but somewhere in the woods, I got stuck in barbed wires. Today, this story has become known to the public and now I don’t want it to look like some kind of circus. I wanted to address Mr. Bibilov in Russian,” Kukhianidze further explained his intentions.

Gaprindashivli has remained in the custody of the occupation forces for over a month now. He was arrested on November 9 for crossing the so-called border to help a sick woman who was prevented from seeking medical help in Tbilisi because the occupation regime had closed down the crossing checkpoint.