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GYLA on Parliament’s Blockage: Govt should not Restrict This Form of Protest

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The Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) released a statement on November 18, on the Parliament’s decision to vote down the constitutional amendment on transition to the proportional electoral system by 2020, as well as blocking of the Parliament building by opposition parties and civic activists since November 17.

GYLA noted that “parliamentary voting and non-passing of the constitutional amendments by the Georgian Dream showed that the promise of a shift towards the proportional electoral system by the ruling political force was a cynical move aiming towards calming down the wave of protest at the end of June.”

It also said that by not supporting to hold elections by the so-called “German model,” the ruling party is helping “to exacerbate the situation. Consequently, the full responsibility for the events on Rustaveli Avenue is upon them.”

“In the absence of responsive steps taken by the government when they ignore the demonstrators, the protesters resort to a radical form of protest, blocking the parliament building. The legislation prohibits such action and considers it as an administrative offense,” GYLA said.

It also added that “since this behavior of the protesters is non-violent and is expressed in the form of passive resistance, GYLA believes that the government should take into account the current context and should not restrict this form of protest by the participants of a rally.”

According to GYLA, the ruling political force should realize its role, take responsibility for the current events, show the will of consensus, and “only in such way, and not by force, regulate the current tense situation.”

On November 17, two parallel rallies were held in downtown Tbilisi, both demanding fully proportional snap elections. The protest led by united opposition and civic activists outside the parliament building commenced at 3pm, while another rally with similar demands, led by Alliance of Patriots began at 5pm on the First Republic Square, few hundred meters away.

All entrances of the Georgian Parliament were blocked by the protesters since yesterday evening, demanding snap elections with fully proportional system. The leaders of European Georgia, United National Movement and New Georgia, as well as their supporters and civic activists erected tents outside three entrances of the Parliament building, placed barricades and padlocked its gates.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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