TBILISI, November 26 – Riot police in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi have used water cannon to disperse protesters for the second time in a week near the country’s Parliament after thousands of people rallied demanding electoral system reform.
The interior ministry said in a statement that 28 people were arrested overnight for the clashes between protesters and police and on Tuesday for police disobedience and hooliganism. At least three people were injured during the clashes, the statement said.
“During the demonstration at the Parliament building, 28 persons were detained under the Articles 173 (Non-compliance with the lawful order or demand of the law enforcement officer) and 166 (Minor Hooliganism) of the Administrative Offences Code,” the ministry said in a press release.
Later on Tuesday, all 28 detained protesters were released but the investigation against them is not closed. They will have to appear in court.Apart from that, the chief of the patrol police, Vazha Siradze, said that lawmakers can enter the parliament building as it was cleared from protesters who had been blocking the entrance.
On November 14, the Georgian parliament failed to adopt constitutional argument that would have changed the current mixed electoral system into a proportional one in which parties receive seats in parliament proportional to the percentage of votes they win. Opposition protesters are demanding early parliamentary elections and the appointment of a transitional government.
The next general election in Georgia is scheduled for October 2020.