EU, US urge Georgian authorities and opposition to engage in dialogue amid protests
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 18, ARMENPRESS. The US embassy and the EU Delegation to Georgia are concerned by the failure of a constitutional reform aimed at moving the republic to a system of proportional representation at the parliament election in 2020 and calling on authorities and opposition to launch dialogue to restore trust, the diplomatic missions said in a joint statement issued on November 17, reports TASS.
“In view of the current situation, we consider it essential to immediately work to restore trust through a calm and respectful dialogue between the government and all political parties and civil society with a view to finding an acceptable path forward”, the statement said.
The missions also expressed their support to a mass protest rally of opposition held at the parliament building in Tbilisi. “We fully support the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. We call on all parties exercising this right to do so in a lawful manner and within the framework of the Constitution”, the embassies said. “We encourage all sides to act in the country’s best interest”, the statement concludes.
Dozens of opposition parties took part in a mass protest rally in Tbilisi at the parliament building on Sunday, calling for a snap election using a system of proportional representation. At the rally, leaders of the United National Movement and Movement for Liberty - European Georgia parties decided to picket all entrances to the parliament to stall members of parliament. They attached chains and locks to the entrances and set up camps. The opposition pledges to unlock doors after deputies have gathered in the parliament to call a snap election and introduce amendments to the legislation that will ensure that it is held using the proportional representation system.