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Officials, Opposition Comment on Planned Protest Rally

Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze urged those planning to attend the November 2 protest rally outside the Parliament not to undertake any actions that may favor ?those forces interested in destabilizations? in Georgia.

?This is the most important for us,? she told reporters on November 1. ?I want to tell each person, who plans to attend to the rally – use your constitutional right and at the same respect your constitutional right to act within legal frames and what is more important, each of us, both the authorities and the opposition, should think about the responsibility we have towards our country.?

Giorgi Arveladze, the economy minister, said that Georgia was a democratic country and the planned November 2 protest rally was a demonstration of this. ?But we will not let anyone to stir up destabilization in the country,? he added.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders from the ten-party coalition, jointly campaigning for holding parliamentary elections in April, instead of late 2008, said that they planned to launch ?peaceful protest rallies? on November 2, which would continue unless the President appoints elections for April.

?We will not let any violence, or any action directed towards illegal overthrow of the government,? MP Gia Tortladze of the opposition party Movement for United Georgia, said on November 1.

Giga Bokeria, an influential lawmaker from the ruling National Movement party, told Civil.Ge in an interview on October 30 that the authorities would not compromise on elections date.

Opposition said the protesters will start gathering outside the Parliament by noon on November 2 and the rally will be opened at 2 pm local time.


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