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Opposition Marches to Protest Election Results

Protesters marching down the Kostava Street towards the Rustaveli Avenue. Photo: Civil.Ge

Thousands of opposition supporters are marching from the Sport Palace toward the Rustaveli Avenue, where a military parade will be held to mark the Independence Day.

“We will continue struggle to dismantle this violent government and the parliament. This may be a long-term battle, but it will be accomplished with our victory,” Levan Gachechiladze, co-leader of the nine-party opposition bloc, told supporters at the rally which was held outside the Sport Palace this morning before the march.

Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of New Rights Party – part of the nine-party bloc – called on all opposition parties to sign a joint memorandum undertaking commitment to boycott the new parliament, which the opposition says illegitimate as it was elected through ballot fraud.

The Labor Party leader, Shalva Natelashvili, whose party also cleared the 5% threshold, told protesters at the rally that his party was joining the memorandum. “We are again together and this unity will help us to put an end to the Saakashvili’s regime,” Natelashvili told the rally.

The Christian-Democratic Party, which has also cleared the 5% threshold, has not yet signed the memorandum.

The protest rally was aired live by the Tbilisi-based Kavkasia TV.

The capital city’s main thoroughfare where the military parade is ongoing is blocked by the police cordons.

In his address to supporters Levan Gachechiladze slammed the western support of the Saakashvili administration and in particularly attacked the U.S. position.

“Georgia can not be smashed down. I do not care what the Americans think and I do not care what the Europeans think. We should build the Georgian state. I want to tell you that our struggle, the struggle of the Georgian people is not simply against the Saakashvili regime; it is about the struggle against the world geopolitics, this is struggle against the American interests. That is why this struggle is difficult… We would have changed this government if elections were free and fair,” Gachechiladze said. “Free and fair elections in Georgia would have changed the geopolitics in the former Soviet Union as well, because it would have been an attempt to build a free country by free people and not under the instructions of Americans.”


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