TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rebuffed a parliamentarian in his own coalition for criticizing a tweet by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.
The controversy started when Bildt criticized the criminal charges against former President Mikheil Saakashvili in a tweet that said: “Georgia authorities deviate from European path in using justice system for revenge. Does damage to the country.”
Irakli Sesiashvili, who chairs the defense and security committee in parliament, expressed surprise that Bildt was concerned by the charges against Saakashvili, but not by the recent report by the UN Human Rights Committee, which urged Georgia to expedite its trials of former officials.
“I’m even disappointed that he was late,” Sesiashvili wrote on his Facebook page.
Reacting to the ironic tone in Sesiashvili’s criticism, Margvelashvili said such statements as Bildt made or others from partner countries are ridiculous, but on the contrary, important for him as for the president of the country.
“I feel the importance of the support from these people,” he said in a TV interview on Thursday.
Also Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze criticized Bildt. She said the tweet is a way of putting pressure on the courts in Georgia.
Margvelashvili said he thinks comments of the kind that was conveyed in Bildt’s tweet are important for Georgia, especially right before NATO’s Wales summit.
“As soon as we finish these processes and show that we are committed, the whole society, to have a free political environment in Georgia, I think all these questions will be answered,” he said, adding that processes need to be open and transparent to achieve this.
He thinks that despite the attitudes of political players, processes must be honestly evaluated and everyone must follow and defend democratic values.
He said it is necessary for ordinary citizens and officials to be free from political sympathies and objectively evaluate criminal law issues.
“Here we will all be united in answering the questions from Mr Carl Bildt or any of our partners, whose comments I don’t find ridiculous,” he said, adding that all of society, state bodies and the president will be guarantees that there won’t be political persecution in Georgia.
“We have an obligation to show our partners that we are a democratic state where there is no political persecution.”