Opposition announces series of permanent protests in major cities of Georgia
“No to rigged elections”, “Freedom for Misha!” – with these slogans the Georgian opposition began a series of permanent protests.
With these rallies, the opposition protests against the results of municipal elections and demands the release of the third president of Georgia, imprisoned Mikheil Saakashvili.
Permanent protest rallies in all major cities of Georgia were announced by the opposition after the second round of elections on October 31 at a rally in Tbilisi.
At the rally, opposition leaders told the government, which they said had “stolen the elections”, that they had many surprises in store for it.
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The first protests took place on November 2 in two large cities of Georgia – Rustavi and Batumi. In the evening, demonstrations began simultaneously in both cities.
Demonstrators gathered in front of the Rustavi Penitentiary Prison. The third president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, has been on hunger strike in a cell for 33 days.
“The only demand on the agenda today is the freedom of Misha Saakashvili! Our line of struggle is for the freedom of Mikhail Saakashvili and for how the political process in Georgia will be conducted”, said Zaal Udumashvili, a member of the United National Movement party, which gathered near the prison in Rustavi.
“Now is not the time to sit in front of the TV and post on Facebook”, Udumashvili said. According to him, rallies will be held near the Rustavi prison every day.
The protest also took place near the Government House in Batumi. He was joined by representatives of the united opposition.
Among them were the leader of the United National Movement Nika Melia, one of the leaders of the Lelo party Mamuka Khazaradze, the leader of the Girchi – More Freedom party Zurab Japaridze and the leader of the Droa party Elene Khoshtaria. Together they were running in the second round of elections and they now say that this coalition will not fall apart, but, on the contrary, will strengthen and expand.
Nika Melia was the first to address the protesters. He stated that the struggle is starting now and the rallies will not stop until “the truth wins”, the third president of Georgia is released and the ruling party recognizes the real results of the elections.
Melia confirmed that the protests will be permanent and will be held in many cities:
“Don’t consider it a threat, Bidzina Ivanishvili (informal leader of the ruling party). It is simply an order of the Georgian people that we enter into a very close confrontation, peacefully and hand in hand. We will beat you by numbers. You are a dictator, a person who despises us, but you cannot continue to do so. We have prepared surprises for you that will shock you and delight many fans of this country and state. Victory is inevitable. We will not back down”, Melia said.
Leader of the Lelo party Mamuka Khazaradze, speaking at a rally in Batumi, said that the attitude to Saakashvili is not important – his state of health is.
“He was the president of Georgia, and he deserves medical assistance, which will not lead to fatal consequences”.
The leaders have not yer specified when and in which cities the other rallies will be held. It is known that the National Movement plans to hold rallies in several large cities, including Kutaisi and Tbilisi. A big. rally is scheduled for November 6 in Tbilisi.
On October 30, the second round of municipal elections took place in Georgia. Mayors were elected in 5 self-governing cities and 15 municipalities, as well as majoritarian deputies in 42 districts in 24 municipalities.
According to preliminary data from the Central Election Commission, everywhere, except for Tsalenjikha, a candidate from the ruling party won the mayoral elections.
As for the majoritarian candidates, the Georgian Dream candidates from 42 majoritarian constituencies won in 27, and the opposition – in 15 majoritarian constituencies.
The opposition does not recognize the results and claims that the ruling party rigged the elections. Therefore, a series of protests was announced in the major cities of Georgia.
In parallel with the rallies, the opposition intends to appeal against all election violations in the district commissions, and then in court.