Opposition, civic activists announce 'large rally' amid voting of judges in parliament

Georgian parliament is scheduled to vote on a controversial list of judges for the Georgian Supreme Court in the coming days, during the next session of parliament. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

Agenda.ge, 28 Nov 2019 - 15:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

The opposition and civil activists , who have been protesting for two weeks due to parliament’s  rejection of the ruling party’s proposed election bill, have announced a 'large rally' at parliament  when MPs will be scheduled to vote on a 20-person list of candidates for judge in the Georgian Supreme Court. 

The opposition, which strongly disapproves of  the list, vows the rally [allegedly during the next session of parliament] will lead to the fulfilment of  the demonstrators’ demands, namely an early parliamentary election per the German model, which distributes seats in the legislative body based on the votes received in a party-list [proportional] voting.

Everything is going on in line with a plan. With the use of peaceful methods we will force the current state leadership to fulfill our demands,” leader of the European Georgia opposition party Gigi Ugulava said.

The opposition and civic activists were trying to block the entrances of the parliament building earlier today. However, police blocked the streets leading to the legislative body with  iron barriers. 

Leader of the European Georgia opposition party Giga Bokeria says that the current state leadership will have to fulfil the protesters' demands.Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

Later the demonstrators said that parliament will not be blocked today.

We will be better prepared for blocking the parliament work next week and make the government fulfill  its promise for proportional elections,” one of the activists, Shota Digmelashvili, said.

Protests were sparked in Tbilisi after the rejection of the ruling Georgian Dream party's proposed election bill on November 14, which offered an early transition to a fully proportional electoral system in 2020 instead of 2024. 

40 ruling party MPs refused to vote for the bill, causing its rejection and accusations by the opposition and demonstrators [to the state leadership] of “breaking a promise and cheating people".