Khatia Dekanoidze, a member of the United National Movement opposition party, on Tuesday said protest rallies and other moves by the new leadership of the party, if they were not large-scale, could cause more problems to both the largest opposition group and currently imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvilli.
Levan Khabeishvili, the newly elected UNM head, on Monday announced rallies and boycott to the parliamentary work in response to the recent denial of Tbilisi city court to grant Saakashvili’s release or the postponement of the rest of his six-year-sentence for abuse of power on medical grounds.
“The most important thing is to look at the events rationally and not to lose the trust of our partners.I am not in favor of a boycott to parliament, city councils, or leaving mandates without results. Now, the most important thing is to look at the events rationally and not lose the trust of our partners. We know the moods of our partners” she said in her social media post.
Dekanoidze stressed If the “radicalization of the process goes wrong [I do not mean a massive protest], it will be the worst problem for the party and Misha [in reference to Saakashvili]. If the process launched by the party leads to more marginal processes, they [the government] will not let Misha leave prison”.
Dekanoidze noted the pressure from the international community could “force” Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the ruling party, cited as a “shadow ruler” by the opposition, to allow Saakashvili’s release.
“We have been working on this for 1.5 years [I can not say everything for a number of reasons]. Today, he [Ivanishvili] sees the opposite. The more we have the ability to rationalize and speak publicly about the truth, the better for the interests of our country," Dekanoidze wrote.
The MP said she would quit the post of the chair of the UNM in the parliament following Nika Melia’s defeat by Khabeishvili as the UNM chair at the end of January.