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Saakashvili's Party Walks Out Of Georgian Parliament

The Georgian parliament in session in Kutaisi in October 2012
Lawmakers representing Georgian President Mihkeil Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM) party have walked out the parliament to protest the arrests of several party members.

A ENM leader, Levan Bezhashvili, told journalists on June 28 that the lawmakers are boycotting parliamentary sessions to protest what he called "the planned destruction of our party."

Four officials from the Tbilisi mayor's office were arrested late on June 27 and charged with embezzlement and financial improprieties.

Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, a ENM member, called his associates' arrests "another attempt to eliminate our party's infrastructure."

A number of Saakashvili allies have been charged with crimes since Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition won parliamentary elections in October.

Ivanishvili publicly stated on June 24 that he does "not exclude" the possibility that Saakashvili could be arrested after leaving office following presidential election this fall.

Based on reporting by and Interfax