Georgia: Police disperse protesters with water cannons near election commission building
Georgian opposition demands to call new parliamentary elections and dismiss CEC head
Georgian police on Sunday fired water cannons and tear gas against protesters who gathered outside the Central Election Commission to support opposition parties’ calls for re-holding parliamentary elections they said were rigged.
Small groups of demonstrators started throwing stones at the police. Demonstrators came to the CEC building from the main street of Tbilisi, Rustaveli Avenue, where the thousands-strong peaceful rally was held.
Police said the demonstrators tried to break into the building of the Central Election Commission.
“Since the protesters used violent methods and did not obey the instructions of the police, the Ministry of Internal Affairs used proportionate force within its powers,” the ministry said in a statement..
Tbilisi, Georgia. November 8, 2020.
Opposition demands resignation of CEC head Tamar Zhvania and announcement of new elections.
According to official results, the ruling Georgian Dream party received 48.23 percent of the vote, while the largest opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), received 27.18 percent..
After the results obtained gave the ruling party the right to form a government, eight opposition parties, including the UNM, announced that they would boycott parliament..
The opposition accuses the ruling party and its supporters of buying votes, threatening voters and observers, and irregularities in the vote count. Georgian Dream leaders reject accusations against party.
Demonstrators moved to the CEC building after 20:00, when demands for the government to dismiss the head of the Central Election Commission and start negotiations on new elections remained unanswered.
Georgian economy hit hard by coronavirus epidemic. On Saturday, the government announced a curfew that will operate in major cities from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am starting Monday due to a sharp rise in incidence since early September..
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