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Georgia: Former parliament speaker says govt’s ‘catastrophic incompetence’ to blame for Tbilisi protest *PARTNER CONTENT*

Georgia, Tbilisi
June 21, 2019 at 10:41 GMT +00:00 · Published

Leader of the Georgian opposition party Democratic Movement and former parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze blamed the government of “catastrophic incompetence” over the protest that took place outside the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi on Thursday.

Burjanadze said she had predicted the anti-government protest, since “It’s absolutely unbelievable, how incompetent the government is. And it is clear for me that the government did nothing for the improvement of Russian-Georgian relations during the last few years.”

The former acting head of state said added that Tbilisi needed to explain to Moscow the importance of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

She pointed out that Russia-Georgia relations are still “a very difficult and sensitive issue for Georgian society” following the South Ossetia conflict in 2008.

At least 240 people, including 80 police officers were injured as anti-government protesters clashed with the law enforcement officials outside the parliament building in Tbilisi on Thursday evening and in the early hours of Friday morning.

The crowd attempted to force their way into the parliament building as they demanded the resignation of parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze and other top officials.

The rally began after Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov addressed the audience from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker during the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy on Thursday. A number of Georgian opposition politicians left the session in protest.

Tbilisi Mayor Kakhaber Kaladze said it was "unacceptable to hold the assembly "under the leadership of a Russian speaker."

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the protest in a statement, saying that “the radical opposition in Georgia has exploited an important international forum, aimed at uniting the Orthodox nations of the world, to unleash its anti-Russian sentiment.”

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Leader of the Georgian opposition party Democratic Movement and former parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze blamed the government of “catastrophic incompetence” over the protest that took place outside the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi on Thursday.

Burjanadze said she had predicted the anti-government protest, since “It’s absolutely unbelievable, how incompetent the government is. And it is clear for me that the government did nothing for the improvement of Russian-Georgian relations during the last few years.”

The former acting head of state said added that Tbilisi needed to explain to Moscow the importance of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

She pointed out that Russia-Georgia relations are still “a very difficult and sensitive issue for Georgian society” following the South Ossetia conflict in 2008.

At least 240 people, including 80 police officers were injured as anti-government protesters clashed with the law enforcement officials outside the parliament building in Tbilisi on Thursday evening and in the early hours of Friday morning.

The crowd attempted to force their way into the parliament building as they demanded the resignation of parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze and other top officials.

The rally began after Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov addressed the audience from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker during the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy on Thursday. A number of Georgian opposition politicians left the session in protest.

Tbilisi Mayor Kakhaber Kaladze said it was "unacceptable to hold the assembly "under the leadership of a Russian speaker."

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the protest in a statement, saying that “the radical opposition in Georgia has exploited an important international forum, aimed at uniting the Orthodox nations of the world, to unleash its anti-Russian sentiment.”

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