Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation on Thursday, a move that prompted celebration from the opposition and calls for early elections.
Gakharia, who had held the post since 2019, said he was stepping down because of a disagreement with his own team over the detention of Nika Melia, a prominent opposition politician, local media outlets reported.
“I’ve made the decision to leave my post,” Gakharia said, according to the Sputnik Georgia news outlet. “Of course, I believe and want to believe that this step will contribute to lowering the level of polarization in our country.”
Gakharia said Melia’s detention was unacceptable if it threatened to fuel political divisions in the South Caucasus country of 3.7 million people.
Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the Georgian Dream ruling party, said it planned to put forward a candidate to replace Gakharia on Friday.