Lithuanian MEP urges Georgian gov’t to ‘fulfill its agreement’ with opposition

MEP Andrius Kubilius has sent a letter to Georgian top officials. Photo: Luko Balandzio., 08 May 2020 - 13:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Lithuanian politician and member of the European Parliament Andrius Kubilius has urged the Georgian Dream government to abide by the March 8 election agreement with the opposition, and raised concerns regarding the recent conviction of several opposition leaders and members. 

In letters sent to Georgian top officials, MEP Kubilius mentioned the cases of opposition leaders Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili and opposition member Giorgi Rurua. 

European partners need a clear confirmation that progress is being made to ensure the necessary conditions for free and fair parliamentary elections in 2020,” Kubilius said.

In the talks mediated by the diplomatic corps, the ruling party and the opposition agreed on March 8 to hold the upcoming parliamentary elections this October with 120 seats in the legislative body distributed via a proportional vote and the remaining 30 via the majoritarian system.

The agreement also foresees a fair composition of election districts, a 1% threshold, and a cap recognising that no single party that wins less than 40% of the votes should be able to get its own majority in the next parliament.

The opposition also said that the ruling party agreed to release opposition leaders and supporters per the agreement. 

Vice Parliament Speaker of Georgia Kakha Kuchava has urged MEPs to come to Georgia and look into the cases. Photo: Imedi TV.

The ruling party denies any agreement with the opposition on the release of imprisoned opposition leaders and members, stating that the country has no political prisoners and has invited European Parliament members to look into the cases. 

Vice Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava has stated that the letter by the MEP was no surprise as “Kubilius is trying to protect his political partner in Georgia.”

Kuchava said that the ruling party has urged MEPs to come to Georgia and look into the cases for which they have questions, adding that ‘no one has come yet.’