Georgian opposition resumes picketing of parliament, 12 detained
Twelve people have been detained trying to picket the parliament building in Tbilisi earlier today, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia reports.
Among the detainees were the leader of the New Georgia opposition party, Giorgi Vashadze, Ilia State University professor Alik Kuprava and other civic activists. All detainees are accused of hooliganism and resistance to the police.
Police began their detentions after protesters outside the parliament building tried to block traffic.
Today, parliament is considering two important issues, and that is why the opposition has resumed protests.
MPs are voting on a list of 20 candidates running for a life-long term on the country’s Supreme Court.
Of the 20 candidates, the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs supported 14, including Prosecutor General Shalva Tadumadze.
After the recommendations of the legal committee, the voting on candidates for the Supreme Court should take place today at the plenary session of the parliament.
Independent and opposition MPs protested the actions of the committee members, demanding that they not support any of the candidates, because they believe that they are biased and incapable of making independent decisions.
In addition, today the parliament voted to strip National United Movement party Nika Melia member of his MP mandate
The Committee on Procedural Issues unanimously voted to revoke the MP mandate of Melia.
The reason is the decision of the Tbilisi city court in a case dating back eight years ago, in which the MP was involved, and which prosecutor’s say involve the former government attempting to bankrupt Cartu Bank.
A protest rally outside the parliament building began today at around 7:00. Its participants sat at the entrance to the parliament building and tried to picket it, trying to prevent MPs from getting to work so that the vote on the two issues would not take place.
The opposition believes, and in this it is supported by representatives of the non-governmental sector, that the candidates for the Supreme Court, whom the parliament is to approve, are politically engaged individuals, executing orders of the ruling Georgian Dream party.