Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili explained that society needs the amnesty, and asked people to show understanding if there is a temporary rise in crime. (Photo: Davit Tchalidze/Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch — The Georgian Prime Minister expects to see a rise in crime for a few days after a mass amnesty comes into force, and says the population should understand and get on with it.

Bidzina Ivanishvili Saturday visited parliament in Kutaisi, and while addressing lawmakers revisited his previous statement that he expects an increase in crime in the country.

The National Movement party, which recently lost government power, claim that the Georgian Dream government cannot maintain law and order and that the crime level has increased after the election.

A plan put forth by Georgian Dream may soon see several thousand prisoners released in a mass amnesty.

The National Movement claims releasing so many prisoners at once may overwhelm the government’s ability to maintain order in society and therefore endanger the population.

On the other hand, the high number of prisoners in Georgia – approximately 24 000 – is considered alarming and has led to criticism against the previous government both locally and internationally. The mass amnesty is one of the steps Georgian Dream has proposed to do something about the high number of prisoners, to be complemented by a moderation of the crime policy.

Prime Minister Ivanishvili Saturday explained his remark a few weeks ago – that the level of crime will increase as a result of the amnesty, but that society should understand this. He said that when you release several hundred people from prison it is clear that a small proportion of them will go back to their old ways.

He said, of course it is possible that something may happen in the city and people should get on with it.

“I didn’t mean a permanent process. There might be some blasts temporarily. I mean that somewhere they will steal a car, break into a house and people should understand it as this process is humane and important for society,” he said.