Protesters Scuffle with Parliament Guard
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Jun.'09 / 19:20

Dozens of protesters, mainly from the pro-opposition youth groups, scuffled with the parliament guard after the first session since the launch of protests ended on June 12.

The incident erupted when Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze was leaving the parliament’s building. His car outside the Parliament was met with several dozen of egg-throwing protesters and the scuffle started after unarmed guard of the parliament tried to prevent the protesters from approaching the parliamentary speaker’s car, as they were trying to push protesters away in order to pave the way for the car to leave the area. Couple of dozen of persons in plain cloths where seen participating in the scuffle assisting the parliament guard.

Scuffle continued with some intervals after the parliamentary speaker’s car left the area and in television pictures in one instance a a young protester was seen throwing a stone in direction of guard. The opposition leaders were not present at the site during the incident.

In a separate incident also outside the Parliament, activists from the youth pro-opposition groups hurled water at MP from ruling party, Giorgi Asanidze, after he left the parliamentary building. Also on June 12 protesters from the same group verbally attacked a lawmaker from the parliamentary minority group, Gia Tortladze, after he left the Parliament building. At one point MP Tortladze and one of the protesters, a middle-aged man, exchanged punches after Tortladze was verbally insulted. 

Youth opposition groups’ rally outside the parliament, as they said, was part of their campaign to mount “moral pressure” on lawmakers “having no legitimacy.” Protesters were chanting at lawmakers coming out of the parliament after the session: “Shame on you”.

The Parliament gathered for the first time to hold a session on June 12 since the launch of rallies on April 9. To prevent direct contact between lawmakers and protesters in order to avoid possible tensions and incidents was the main reason cited by the authorities behind the decision to cease parliamentary sessions since the launch of protests. The announcement that the parliament would be convened was made early on Friday morning by the Parliamentary Chairman.
Meanwhile, police said on June 12 that a man, who physically assaulted Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Levan Tarkhnishvili, on June 11, was arrested and sentenced by the court to thirty days in prison. The incident occurred outside the Rustaveli Theater, where the British embassy reception was held; pro-opposition youth groups were gathered outside booing officials and lawmakers going at the reception. 

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