In Georgia, the new prime minister justified the police assault on the headquarters of the country’s opposition party and the violent arrest of the leader of the United National Movement, Nika Melia.

In the context of escalating political crisis, Irakli Gharibachvili called for “dialogue, not confrontation”.

“Today, now that the law has been applied and that the State has taken its rightful place, I would like to call on all the political forces which hold on to this country to open a real and serious dialogue and to speak not of what divides us, but what must unite us. In the context of the challenges facing the country, it is time to dialogue and not to confront each other “.

Irakli Gharibashvili has been in post since Monday. He was appointed after the resignation of Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, who mentioned a disagreement within the ruling party over the implementation of the court ruling, issued last week, to place Nika Melia in detention.

On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of demonstrators pitched tents in front of the Georgian Parliament and blocked the main avenue of the capital to protest the arrest of the leader of the opposition party. They demanded his release and for the most part the organization of new legislative elections, as the United National Movement has been doing for months, due to suspicion of fraud during the polls last October.

Nika Melia was arrested on charges of organizing mass violence during protests in 2019. He faces up to 9 years in prison, but rejects the charges he calls political.

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Dozens of other arrests took place during the Georgian law enforcement intervention, and were denounced by Georgia’s western allies.

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