Policemen guarding the entrance to parliament during an opposition protest on March 2, 2021. (RFE/RL)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s opposition have decided to scale back their protest rallies, citing a wish to not give the ruling Georgian Dream party an excuse to stall the talks initiated by the President of the European Council.

The decision was made at a meeting on Wednesday between opposition parties that are boycotting parliament. Along with them, several smaller political parties are participating in these and similar meetings, which failed to cross the threshold in the October 31, 2020 elections, which the entire opposition considers having been rigged.

The opposition says it will refrain from previously announced picketing and holding corridors of shame outside public buildings like the parliament and the government administration in Tbilisi.

However, on Thursday, the opposition is planning to march from the center of Tbilisi to the prison where UNM chair Nika Melia is being held. His arrest a few days ago prompted the opposition to pour into the streets, and Georgian Dream has come under volleys of criticism from the West.

“We have decided to modify the form of the protests so that (PM Irakli) Garibashvili and Ivanishvili do not use them as an excuse to disrupt the talks which were initiated by President Michel through personal mediation,” said Tina Bokuchava of the UNM.

European Council President Charles Michel, who arrived in Tbilisi on February 28, has begun looking for ways out of the political stalemate following the arrest of Nika Melia. On his initiative, negotiations between the opposition and the ruling party were resumed.