• “Anyone who has been accused of a crime still has rights, and they should be protected by the government, especially when the person has been arrested. They should be treated the same way as other law-abiding civilians. The fact that [former Interior Minister] Vano Merabishvili [who has been in prison since 2013] is guilty, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have rights -- and abusing those rights is unacceptable. The European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg said that Merabishvili’s rights were violated [the court ruled that his arrest was used by the authorities for other purposes -ed]. The people who violated his rights and who presented the Strasbourg court with such a difficult decision should be punished, since they have encroached on Georgia’s goals and interests. There must be an investigation about what happened in the Merabishvili case, and there should also be an investigation why it was not investigated before now. The people who violated Merabishvili’s rights should be found and punished, since they damaged not just Merabishvili, but Georgia’s image.”

    President Giorgi Margvelashvili, on the TV show “The Choice”/”არჩევანი”:
    President: They damaged not just Merabishvili, but Georgia's image
  • To have pluralism, the elections must be held fairly. And if there are people who think that the country’s geopolitical should be different, these people should have their representation in parliament. That is democracy: Taking into account other people’s opinions. Of course it’s hard. Pro-Western people talk of how we have to accept different opinions, and respect them … but when it comes to Russia, Russian music, poetry, or literature, they allow themselves to disregard [this principle]. And this is unacceptable. If someone thinks that this is the right course for our country, or thinks that we should go towards Russia or towards the East -- they are also citizens of Georgia, and they have the right to think that way.

    Another matter is whether I, as a politician, will be defeated if they gain power. I don’t believe they have even a small chance of getting into power, but there is a chance that they gain representation in parliament. And I won’t go against it. If Georgians think that that’s the political path they want, then who gave me, or any other politician, the right to go against people’s opinions, and say that another view is more progressive and that something else is right? My job is not to forbid people from thinking that way, but to convince them that it is a catastrophic path. That’s my mission; but I will not be prohibiting anyone from anything.

    President Giorgi Margvelashvili, on the TV show “The Choice”/”არჩევანი”:
    President: Pro-Russians have a chance to get into Parliament
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