7 Feb 2023 13:57

Saakashvili's party boycotts parliament, demands his release from custody

TBILISI. Feb 7 (Interfax) - Members of the Georgian opposition party United National Movement have announced a boycott of the parliament and have demanded that former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili be released from custody.

"The National Movement faction will take no part in parliamentary activity. We are discussing surrendering our parliamentary mandates," Chairman of the United National Movement's Political Council, parliament member Levan Bezhashvili said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

Bezhashvili said consultations on boycotting parliamentary activity were underway with other opposition factions.

Meanwhile, members of the ruling party Georgian Dream told reporters that National Movement faction members were practically not involved in parliamentary activity since the formation of the new parliament in 2020, while regularly receive their parliamentary salaries.

The United National Movement is planning to hold a massive demonstration near the State Chancellery downtown Tbilisi in the coming hours to demand that Saakashvili be released from custody.