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Georgian Opposition Claims Bank Accounts Drained Of Funds

Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili greets supporters in Batumi on August 5.
Members of the Georgian Dream opposition coalition say their parties' bank accounts have been seized by authorities in Tbilisi and more than $60,000 in funds diverted to the state budget.

Nodar Khaduri, whose party, Democratic Georgia, is a member of the coalition, said the move comes as the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili is attempting to collect on a controversial $1.5 million fine imposed on Georgian Dream for alleged illegal campaign financing.

A U.S. public relations firm representing Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili has accused the Georgian government of draining the accounts of all six Georgian Dream member-parties and seizing all incoming campaign donations.

The Georgian government has yet to respond to the claim.

The controversy comes just over a month before October 1 parliamentary polls.

Based on reporting by and RFE/RL