Eduard Shevardnadze: Georgian politics is becoming more lawless

Several political parties have military wings and the political process is becoming more lawless. This was announced by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze in his traditional interview on national radio yesterday.

He mentioned that the opposition party National Movement arrived with 150 armed men in the Bolnissky region of Georgia last week, where there is a substantial Azerbaijani population, and destabilised the region. As a result there was a massive brawl, cars were damaged and at least fifty people were injured.

The previous day Georgian security officers had discovered members of the National Movement preparing to falsify election results. Members of the party were then arrested for trying to take 400 passports out of the region. Those arrested have now been released but will face trial.

Mr Shevardnadze stressed that the government would not allow the situation to become destabilised before the parliamentary elections on November 2 and would do everything to guarantee the safety of the electorate. Mr Shevardnadze made another appeal to parliament to support his legislative initiative and pass the law about criminal liability for falsifying election results and bribing the electorate.

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