TBILISI, 23 Feb – RIA Novosti. As part of a special operation to arrest the chairman of the opposition United National Movement party, Nika Melia, Georgian law enforcement officers detained about ten people protesting at the party's office, Sputnik Georgia reports.
“More than 10 people were detained for resisting the police, including the opposition leader Irakli Nadiradze,” Sputnik Georgia informs.
Melia, the leader of the party of ex-president of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili, was detained, the police used pepper gas in the building of the party's office.
The oppositionist is accused of organizing the storming of the Georgian parliament during anti-Russian actions in the summer of 2019 in Tbilisi, which began after the visit of Russian deputy Sergei Gavrilov to the country. The court initially released him on bail with the condition of wearing an electronic bracelet, but later the oppositionist defiantly removed him, for which he was elected a new bail. Melia refused to pay the bail, after which the parliament deprived him of his parliamentary immunity, thereby allowing the arrest of the oppositionist. After the court's arrest order on February 17, Melia locked himself in his party's office, while outside he was guarded by other opposition figures who claimed that they would not surrender Melia to the police.
On Thursday, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned due to disagreements with the team over Melia. He considered the detention of the oppositionist unacceptable, which, according to him, could cause an escalation of the already tense political situation in the country. The Georgian Interior Ministry has suspended the process of detention of Melia after the resignation of the prime minister. In place of Gakharia, the political council of the ruling Georgian Dream party has nominated Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who was appointed to the post of prime minister late Monday evening.