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Monday, September 20, 2021

Georgian Protesters Fight with Police during Demonstrations Calling for Election Rerun

Protesters took to the streets and clashed with riot police after Georgia’s electoral authority announced that preliminary results showed that the country’s governing party had won a parliamentary election.

Protesters took to the streets and clashed with riot police last Sunday after Georgia’s electoral authority announced that preliminary results showed that the country’s governing party had won a parliamentary election.

Video shared on social media showed Georgian police firing water cannon and tear gas canisters against hundreds of protesters outside the Central Election Commission (CEC) after they reportedly threw stones and tried to storm the building.

The protests were organized by the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party after the ruling Georgian Dream party had received 48.1 percent of the votes.

“We won’t accept this result and call on people to come to Rustaveli Avenue (in the capital Tbilisi) at 4 p.m.” (1200 GMT) on Sunday, announced Nika Melia, one of the UNM leaders.

UNM accused the Georgian Dream and its supporters of vote-buying, threats towards voters and election observers, and violations during the counting process.

“This regime and this government are illegitimate … these results are illegitimate,” said Melia.

Aside from the protests, more than 30 opposition parties have given the ruling party’s founder, billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, a  deadline to dismiss CEC head Tamar Zhvania and start talks on a fresh election.

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