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Georgian Opposition Parties Appeal Lawmaker's Expulsion


Georgian protesters take part in an opposition rally in front of the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi on March 30 (epa) April 13, 2006 -- Georgia's opposition parties today appealed to the Constitutional Court over the expulsion of one of their representatives from the largely pro-government legislature.


Lawmakers on March 31 voted to strip Republican Party member Valeri Gelashvili of his mandate on the ground that his business ties were incompatible with his political activities. The decision prompted other opposition legislators to boycott the parliament's plenary sessions.


In related news, Georgia's Imedi TV reports tax police today sealed the offices of the company founded by Gelashvili.


Gelashvili, who is currently in Lithuania, claims his expulsion from parliament is part of alleged government plans to muzzle the opposition.


(Imedi TV, Novosti-Gruziya)

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