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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hundreds Block Mayor's Office in Tbilisi

APGeorgian police officers watching hundreds of opposition protesters picket the mayor's office in Tbilisi on Monday.
TBILISI, Georgia -- Hundreds of people picketed the mayor's office in Georgia's capital on Monday as the opposition continued its push for President Mikheil Saakashvili to resign.

About 300 people blocked the street outside Tbilisi's city hall, turning away several people who tried to enter. One demonstrator spray-painted the words "You should be ashamed" on a plate-glass window.

Opposition forces have protested almost daily since April 9, demanding that Saakashvili step down over Georgia's disastrous conflict with Russia last year and allegations of authoritarianism and electoral fraud.

On Monday, demonstrators picketed the mayor's office because they believe that lawmakers were meeting there while the federal parliament building is swarmed with protesters.

Georgia's parliament is scheduled Tuesday to hold its first session since the protests began but may postpone the session to avoid a potential clash, said a representative of parliament speaker David Bakradze.

nThe street protests will turn Georgia's economic growth into contraction in 2009, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said Monday, Reuters reported.

Gilauri said the Georgian economy will contract by 1 percent to 1.5 percent, according to new estimates that have been agreed with the International Monetary Fund. The IMF had earlier forecast growth of 1 percent.

"The first quarter was normal, but then everything was spoiled in April and May due to the street protests," Gilauri said.