More Georgian Protestors Join the Fray
23 Apr 09 | PTV
Thousands of Georgian protestors have poured into the streets to continue their protest against President Mikhail Saakashvili, calling for his resignation.
The opposition supporters who were estimated to be around 5,000 drove from Western Georgia to join some 25,000 people already in front of Georgian parliament and the capital Tblisi’s main thoroughfare.
The demonstrators planned to join the protests amid the opposition leaders’ calls for continuation of daily protests aimed at forcing Saakashvili to leave the office.
The protest which is the biggest of its kind against Saakashvili started on April 9 and was triggered by the conflict between Georgian and Russia.
Saakashvili’s opponents accuse him of concentrating power in his own hands and mishandling last year’s war with neighboring Russia.
“Saakashvili reminds me of an obstinate child who thinks that this country is his plaything. But he forgets that obstinate children are punished – and this will happen very soon,” Levan Gachechiladze, one of the top opposition figures, told the crowd.
“We are very close to victory and maximum mobilization is needed. We are ready to soon replace the authorities, peacefully and lawfully,” another opposition leader Eka Beselia shouted.
The decline in the Georgian president’s public approval was also in the result of his extreme stance against demonstrators in November 2007.
Georgia’s opposition parties have decided to put aside their differences — at least on the surface — to jointly organize anti-government rallies.
Georgian Police have not intervened in the protests. The government says as long as the protesters remain peaceful they will not be dispersed.