The chairman of the largest opposition party in Georgia, Mr. Nika Melia, was detained during a police operation carried out in the office of the United National Movement in Tbilisi in the morning of February 23rd.

The Europe-Georgian Institute expects the arrest of the leader of the largest opposition party to deepen political polarization in the country, severe current political crisis and complicate the process of dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition.

Such developments on the 100th anniversary of the Soviet occupation threaten democratic developments and progress achieved during the 30 years of independence.

The arrest of the leader of the largest opposition party and special operation at the headquarters of the opposition party tarnish the image of Georgian democracy in the international arena and hinders Georgia’s integration into the European Union and NATO.

The aggravation of the crisis at this level, followed the court ruling against Nika Melia, origins from the long-standing problems of the electoral and judicial systems of Georgia.

Considering severe problems in the judiciary, political responsibility for the ongoing processes lies on the government’s shoulders.

We hope that common sense will prevail and we call on all parties to take effective steps to help de-escalate the political situation.

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