Ex-President Saakashvili says current gov’t was ‘on the verge of being overthrown’ in June

Georgian 3rd President Mikheil Saakashvili now lives in Ukraine. Photo: Reuters. 

Agenda.ge, 14 Jan 2020 - 12:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been charged with several alleged offences in Georgia, says that the current Georgian government was on the verge of being overthrown in June 2019, when police used water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse a rally in central Tbilisi. 

Saakashvili told Mtavari Arkhi yesterday that the “moment [of the coup] was lost then.” 

The Georgian Interior Ministry has launched an investigation around the statement, saying that Saakashvili’s words “gives ground for suspicion that he [Saakashvili] headed and participated in the attempted coup on June 20, 2019.” 

The ministry says that other evidence will be collected and the statement will be given a legal assessment. 

The current government has accused the opposition of causing confrontations during June protests in Tbilisi. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

People took to the streets in June to protest the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament building, with one of the MPs Sergey Gavrilov taking the seat of the Georgian parliament speaker. 

The Georgian government stated that the protest was “justified.” However, then Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia said that the opposition transformed the peaceful protest into a violent clash with police and law enforcers were forced to disperse the rally. 

Gakharia said that the country’s security was threatened and the government acted to protect statehood.