Georgians flood streets of capital Tbilisi to seek release of jailed ex-president and opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili who was arrested in early October upon his return from exile in Ukraine.
Saakashvili was convicted in absentia on the abuse of office charges in 2018 and sentenced to six years in prison. He denies any wrongdoing and says the case is politically motivated.
Georgia police tear-gassed offices of opposition leader Nika Melia and detained him days after country’s prime minister resigned over a disagreement on whether to take the prominent politician into custody.
Polls in the country of nearly four million people regularly spark mass protests, with only one orderly transition of power after a parliamentary vote in 2012.
More than 3.5 million people are eligible to vote in the election, and both candidates - Georgian Dream-backed Salome Zurabishvili and opposition Grigol Vashadze - have promised to lead Georgia closer to membership in the European Union and NATO.
The hotly contested race pits ex-French ambassador and Georgia's former foreign minister Salome Zurabishvili, supported by the ruling Georgian Dream party, against opposition leader Grigol Vashadze, also a former foreign minister.
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