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Protests Spark State of Emergency in Georgia

The government of Georgia imposed a state of emergency in its capital, Tbilisi, Wednesday after several days of anti-government protests.

Lawrence Sheets, reporting from Tbilisi, says opposition leaders say they want early elections to end a corrupt and authoritarian regime. The government has responded by announcing presidential and parliamentary elections for early January.

For now, though, the military is still a presence in the streets of the former Soviet block's capital. Sheets says Georgia's Western-educated president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has increasingly been consolidating power, drawing criticism from Europe and the United States.

Sheets says Saakashvili blames the unrest on Russia, who he accuses of supporting the opposition movement and trying to block Georgia from joining NATO.

Sheets talks to Madeleine Brand about the situation.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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