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Opposition Parties Announce Large Scale Rally on November 25

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Leaders of the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition, as well as civil rights activists plan to hold a large scale rally outside the Parliament building in downtown Tbilisi at 7pm on November 25. In particular, they will gather at the First Republic Square and move towards the legislature.

Giorgi Gugava of the Labor Party announced about the opposition’s plans at a rally outside the Parliament building on November 19, saying that the protesters will stay there overnight and block the Parliament’s entrances on November 26 to prevent Georgian Dream lawmakers from attending the plenary session.

“Our actions will be principled, constructive and lawful. We will force this government to be over through peaceful, fair, proportional elections. Oligarchy should be over in our country,” Gugava said.

Giga Bokeria of European Georgia said that the opposition will block all those buildings, where “these people [Georgian Dream] take harmful steps to the detriment of our country.”

Another member of European Georgia, Gigi Ugulava said that Bidzina Ivanishvili “will have to rule the country and move around… accompanied by riot police.”

Commenting on the planned rally, Kakha Kaladze, Georgian Dream’s secretary general, noted that “people have the right to express their views,” adding that unlawful actions will receive adequate response from law enforcement agencies.

With 101 votes in favor and three against, the Georgian Parliament downvoted the bill that would change Georgia’s mixed electoral system to fully proportional one from 2020, instead of 2024. While all 44 opposition MPs voted in favor of the amendment, 3 Georgian Dream MPs voted against and 37 abstained, making the bill fall short of needed 113 votes, three fourths of sitting 150 MPs. With the failure to pass the amendment, the ruling Georgian Dream party backtracked on its key commitment to Tbilisi protests in June.

Protesters, demanding snap elections with fully proportional system, have been blocking all entrances of the Georgian Parliament since Sunday evening. The leaders of European Georgia, United National Movement and New Georgia, as well as their supporters and civic activists erected tents, placed barricades and sandbags outside all entrances of the Parliament building.

The next day, on Monday noon, riot police removed barricades using water cannons and cleared the legislature’s entrances from protesters. 37 protesters were arrested on charges of petty hooliganism and disobedience to police orders yesterday. Six persons, including four protesters and two police officers sustained injuries, according to the Interior Ministry.

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

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