Protests in Tbilisi to resume later today, tents still open on Rustaveli Avenue

The opposition say that rallies will continue until the government ‘keeps its promise’ and allows the conduct of the 2020 parliamentary elections per the proportional electoral system. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 19 Nov 2019 - 11:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Protests sparked by the recent rejection by parliament to pass a bill on electoral reform will resume at 7 p.m. on central Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi after the rally was dispersed by police yesterday with the use of water cannons and saw 37 detained. 

Demonstrators are now assembled in front of Tbilisi City Court where the trial of the detainees will take place soon.

The government will not frighten people by such detentions,” the leader of the Republican Party David Berdzenishvili said, whose son Zuka Berdzenishvili is among the detainees.

About ten tents are open on the avenue with several demonstrators who spent the night there.

The avenue is open to traffic for now.

Police said that demonstrators violated the law on assembly and used water cannons to disperse rally yesterday. Photo: Reuters. 

The dispersal left six injured, four demonstrators and two law enforcers.

On November 14 parliament rejected the ruling party proposed election bill regarding the transition to a fully proportional voting starting 2020 instead of 2024.

 The bill was scrapped as 40 MPs of the ruling party either voted against or abstained from voting for the bill.

The demonstrators are accusing the current state leadership of "breaking its promise and cheating people" as the ruling party accepted the conduct of 2020 parliamentary elections on a fully proportional electoral system in the summer, during June protests in Tbilisi.