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    GEORGIAN PREMIER BELIEVES STATE OF EMERGENCY INTRODUCTION IN ADZHARIA ILLEGAL

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    TBILISI, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania called the introduction of a state of emergency on Adzharian territory illegal.

    "On Georgian territory, only the president is constitutionally entitled to introduce a state of emergency," Zhvania told journalists on Saturday.

    In his turn, Georgian Defense Minister Gela Bezhuashvili expressed bewilderment at the decision to introduce a state of emergency in the Adzharian autonomy.

    "The Adzharian leadership's position is unclear to me," he said. "At the time when the solemn ceremony of completing the first stage of the Equipment and Training program is underway in Tbilisi, Abashidze introduces a state of emergency in Adzharia." The Georgian President has not commented on the news yet.

    The upper house of Georgian parliament took a decision Saturday to introduce from April 24 a state of emergency on the autonomy's territory. Besides, the senate in Batumi decreed to introduce curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time.

    A spokeswoman for the Adzharian leader's press service told RIA Novosti that earlier, the state of emergency was lifted in Adzharia temporarily - before the Georgian president's elections.

    In her words, Adzharian parliamentarians deemed it necessary to reintroduce the state of emergency in the wake of the resolution on Adzharia adopted by Georgian parliament.

    Georgian parliament at its Friday plenary session adopted a special resolution on the situation in Adzharia, which, in particular, contains a demand to eliminate illegal armed formations and disarm the autonomy's population.

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