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OSCE head urges Georgian government, opposition to engage in dialogue

The Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooepration in Europe (OSCE), Thomas Greminger, said he was concerned by the latest wave of protests in Georgia and urged all sides to engage in peaceful dialogue.

“Following developments in Georgia with concern,” the OSCE head wrote on Twitter. “Look to all sides to ensure peaceful protest and progress through dialogue and respect for legal frameworks.”

The protests erupted in Tbilisi after the parliament failed to approve constitutional amendments on November 14 to hold a proportional representation election in 2020. For amendments to pass, 113 members needed to support them out of 150, while only 101 members voted for the changes. It was mainly members of parliament representing the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party who were elected in first-past-the-post constituencies that abstained in the vote.

Protestors are blaming chair of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili for what happened even though it was him who announced in June that the country was moving away from the mixed election system to a fully proportional one. The upcoming election is scheduled to take place in October 2020.

On Monday, A 37 people have been detained and four injured when police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a rally outside the Georgian parliament.

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