Georgia PM quits over plans to arrest opposition leader
Published: 08:55 PM, 18 February 2021
The prime minister of Giorgi Gakharia has resigned on Thursday over plans to arrest a top opposition leader, saying it risked escalating a political crisis in the ex-Soviet nation.
Giorgi Gakharia said he was stepping down because of disagreement in the government over enforcing the court order to arrest opposition leader Nika Melia.
“It is inadmissible to enforce a judiciary decision if that poses a risk to the health and lives of our citizens or creates the possibility of a political escalation in the country.”
A court in Georgia on Wednesday ruled to place Melia in pre-trial detention.
Melia, who faces up to nine years behind bars if found guilty of organizing mass violence during anti-government protests in 2019, has rejected the charges as politically motivated.