Georgian Interior Ministry Says 18 People Detained at Opposition Rally Near Parliament

Georgian Interior Ministry Says 18 People Detained at Opposition Rally Near Parliament

The Interior Ministry said that four protesters and two police officers were hurt in the melee, and 37 people were detained.

Hundreds of police officers were then deployed to the scene, who gave protesters 30 minutes to disperse before using water cannon and then tear gas against crowds.

"The police acted competently and within the law", he said in a statement.

Protesters are calling for convening early parliamentary elections and appointing an interim government, even though the ruling Georgian Dream party has already said that the early elections are out of question, and the vote will be held next October, as scheduled.

The Georgian Dream party won almost 77 percent of seats in the 2016 parliamentary election despite garnering only 48.7 percent of the vote. The rest are divided proportionally between the parties.

The proposed bill would see the proportional system implemented across the board.

Protesters say the ruling party unfairly benefits from the current voting system.

Critics accuse Ivanishvili of persecuting political opponents, suffocating critical media, and creating a corrupt political system where his private interests dominate government decision-making.

Demonstrators wave Georgian and American, center left, flags as they gather at the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019.

"The Embassy of the United States of America and the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia recognize the deep disappointment of a wide segment of Georgian society at the failure of Parliament to pass the constitutional amendments required to move to fully proportional parliamentary elections in 2020".

In a joint statement released on Monday, they expressed "full support for the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression".

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Law enforcers continue to stay on Rustaveli Avenue", the ministry said.
Bartoli told reporters that the internationtal community will not dictate Georgia on its electoral system.

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