Georgian opposition calls on Saakashvili to quit politics, Ivanishvili to retake office

Georgian opposition calls on Saakashvili to quit politics, Ivanishvili to retake office

Two Parliamentary opposition groups, the Citizens and Girchi parties, on Thursday released a joint letter calling on the imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili to withdraw from politics and urging the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to take political office again in a bid to ease domestic political polarisation “hampering” Georgia’s European Union membership process. 

Speaking about the 12-point conditions of the European Commission for Georgia’s European Union membership candidate status, six MPs of the two political groups stressed that Saakashvili’s presence in Georgian politics “created serious obstacle” for the fulfilment of the first condition of the EU, referring to the depolarization of a domestic political environment. 

In comments, the MPs stated that Saakashvili’s retirement from the country’s political life would also allow the United National Movement opposition party, founded by Saakshvili, to transform itself into a “healthier” political force. 

In remarks over Ivanishvili, who left Georgian politics for the second time last year,  the parties suggested that the political responsibility should be taken by “those who make decisions or have all the resources to make decisions”. 

It is clear that the fulfilment of the 12 conditions set by the European Union is the only condition for Georgia to receive the EU candidacy, which is supported by 85% of the Georgian  population”, said the MPs. 

The MPs also called for the adoption of the constitutional amendments which allowed a two percent election threshold and a fully-proportional electoral system for the 2024 parliamentary elections.