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Protest Ends at National Library
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Feb.'13 / 20:00

Protesters outside the National Library started to disperse after learning that President Saakashvili decided to make his address to the nation from his residence instead of the National Library.

The address, which was initially planned for 6pm was delayed for two hours, amid chaotic scenes outside the National Library where protesters assaulted some UNM lawmakers and Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava not allowing them to approach the library’s main entrance.

Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili who arrived on the scene said that the police secured safe corridor for invited guests arriving at the National Library to attend the President’s address, but UNM lawmakers and their supporters chose to approach the building from the direction where protesters were mobilized. He also said that those who carried out violent actions would be punished.

Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, condemned the incident and said that the police should have taken tighter security measures. He, however, also said that UNM lawmakers and their supporters should have used the corridor which was secured by the police for their safe passage towards the National Library and accused UNM of deliberately taking the route where protesters were mobilized. He also accused Tbilisi mayor Ugulava of provoking protesters as he was shouting at them “stage the show”.

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