Georgian police storm opposition office to arrest leader

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — The Georgian police raided the country's main opposition party headquarters and on Tuesday detained its leader.

The detention of Nika Melia, head of the UNM, compounds the growing political tension that the opposition demands from the parliamentary election of October.

The action by the police came hours after a new prime minister was elected by parliament, whose predecessor declined to arrest Melia on the grounds that it would worsen the political crisis in the country.

Melia is charged with inciting violence amid 2019 demonstrations.

He was released on parole and ordered to wear an electronic wristband.

But in November, after cutting the bracelet, the bail was increased by 40,000 lari ($12,000); he declined to pay further bail.

Georgian news sources suggest that about 20 others were detained at the opposition offices in the police operation.