TBILISI, DFWatch — The party of President Saakashvili has decided to boycott parliament because of the detention of a former minister and two top military officers.
Minority leader Davit Bakradze said Wednesday that the reason his party is laying down work is that the country is at risk, and that the future is uncertain for political opposition and the country’s democratic development.
“The parliamentary minority cannot continue working as if nothing has happened,” Bakradze said.
The National Movement Party of President Saakashvili decided to cease work in the new parliament in Kutaisi and return to the capital Tbilisi after law enforcement bodies arrested former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia, Giorgi Kalandadze, Head of General Headquarters and Zurab Shamatava, Commander of Fourth Brigade of Georgia’s armed forces.
The three are accused of abuse of powers, but they’re not yet officially charged. All three may face from five to eight years in jail.
The parliamentary minority, which for the last eight years has been the ruling party, says that the detentions are a form of political persecution.
“Today society has seen first wave of detention regarding several people, where there is a clear answer to why and how they were detained.”
The minority claims that their activity now is important and it is no time to work in parliament.
“Today, everybody has seen the performances of the majority, full of aggression towards the opposition, where our colleagues were speaking about the list of people to be arrested. We won’t continue working as if nothing has happened in the country,” Bakradze said.
He said that despite the high interest in reviewing next year’s budget, they cannot get involved in this process while other more important events are ongoing.
In order to support and stand by these people the parliamentary minority has temporarily laid down its work in parliament and is returning to Tbilisi.