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President Margvelashvili thanks police, criticizes government

14 May 2018 - 12:37:00

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Agenda.ge,14 May 2018 - 12:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has assessed the events that took place on Rustaveli Avenue during the last two days as a "total failure of political and administrative actions” at today’s briefing.

"There were a full range of mistakes starting with the police raid. How can we manage to reach this level of civil confrontation in just a few hours? There are questions which need very direct answers,” he said, adding that the major goal is to maintain freedom of expression while on the other hand to keep order in Tbilisi streets and in the socio-political process at the same time.

He also thanked the police who were trying to prevent a confrontation between the two opposite groups of protesters and ensuring their safety at Rustaveli Avenue yesterday.

President Margvelashvili said the drug policy should be liberal and fight agains drugs trafficking needs to be carried out against traffickers, not users. 

"We need an anti drugs campaign which should be lead by people who are close to the clubgoers hearts - representstives of club stages, Djs, influential clubers," President Margvelashvili explained. 

At the 12-13 May protest rally organized by the White Noise movement, protesters occupied Rustaveli Avenue criticizing the police raid of Tbilisi night clubs of Bassiani and Café Gallery. Protesters also have demanded a more liberal drug policy. They were confronted by counter protesters headed by ultra-nationalist movement Georgian National Unity demanding the pro-liberalisation rally stop.

A peaceful resolution of possible confrontation between the two groups came after a more than one hour long meeting between the Minister of Internal Affairs accompanied by Tbilisi Mayor and the White Noise Movement leaders inside the parliament building.

Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia has promised to begin talks on re-examining the country’s drug policy. The first meeting between the White Noise Movement and the minister is being held today.

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