Tbilisi politicians react to last night’s car blast, assign blame

by | Oct 5, 2016

PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili warned that immunity or foreign citizenship won’t protect those responsible for last night’s car bombing in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian politicians Wednesday reacted to the explosion which blew up of the car of a parliamentarian the night before. Different culprits were singled out but they seemed to agree that the purpose was to affect the outcome of the parliamentary election on Saturday.

The explosion took place in the car of Givi Targamadze from the National Movement as it was driving past Kolmeurneoba Square at approximately 7:40pm local Tbilisi time. The explosion hit in the rear section of the car.

Despite sitting in the front passenger seat, the apparent target Targamadze escaped with only minor injuries and appeared later on an extensive election show for his party the UNM.

Five others were injured, four of whom were taken to hospital.

For many Georgians, suspicions as to who were behind the explosion went primarily in the direction of Targamadze’s own party, because of many prior staged incidents, not least the Khurcha shooting on election day during the parliamentary election in 2008.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili warned three weeks ago that UNM would try to stoke unrest ahead of the election. Late last night, in an address about the car bomb, he blamed ‘a force that is unable to make its peace with the free and peaceful electoral environment in our country.’

He said it was an act committed against the state, but also a provocation from enemies of Georgia intended to cause instability before the election. He warned that the organizers of the bombing will be prosecuted to the ‘fullest extent of the law.’

“No immunity or foreign citizenship will protect those implicated in this crime. Everyone will be held responsible,” he warned in an apparent hint to former UNM officials who have moved to Ukraine and taken up citizenship there.

Executive Secretary of Georgian Dream, Irakli Kobakhidze, says the incident is related to the election and it has political grounds.

“Yesterday’s incident strengthened our belief that there are people in Georgia, who are capable of any action in order to come to power,” he said.

Party leader and former President Mikheil Saakashvili wrote on Facebook that he blamed former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for the bombing.

“In my opinion, [Targamadze] was selected as a target, because he actively cooperated with the law enforcement bodies and Ivanishvili was too scared of this,” wrote Saakashvili, who is governor of Odessa in Ukraine. Ivanishvili is capable of any kind of violence, he added.

A former ally of Saakashvili, Zurab Japaridze, who formed a new party called Girchi blamed Russia for the bombing.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili called it a terrorist attack.

“The car of a parliamentarian was blown up in the center of the city. Luckily, there were no victims. I hope that the injured will get well soon and we won’t have victims of a terrorist attack in our city,” he said, during a meeting with students at the military base Vaziani.

A 31-year-old man who was injured by the explosion remains in intensive care. A 69-year-old woman who has a head injury is in a stable condition but and still at the hospital. A 59-year-old woman has a brain concussion and is also in hospital. A 47-year-old man who received burns is also in a stable condition. The fifth person who was struck by the bomb, a 37-year-old man, left hospital with minor injuries.


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