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United Opposition Announces ‘Non-Stop’ Protest Rallies

Grigol Vashadze of the United Opposition, a coalition of eleven political parties led by the United National Movement, reiterated calls for early parliamentary elections, and announced ‘non-stop’ protest rallies beginning from tomorrow.

The announcement comes a day after the opposition coalition held several demonstrations in parallel to Salome Zurabishvili’s inauguration, with one of the attempts growing into multiple instances of confrontation with the police.

Vashadze, who lost the Presidential runoff to Zurabishvili, made the announcement at a press briefing on December 17. He said the government’s decision to stop the opposition activists from traveling to the inauguration venue was “totally illegitimate.”

“Following fraudulent elections, the authorities decided to restrict the Georgian citizens’ constitutional freedoms of movement, expression and assembly,” Vashadze said, adding that the alternative route offered by the police was also blocked.

“The United Opposition demands early parliamentary elections by proportional system, fundamental reform of election administration, return of the government to political processes, abandoning its criminal practices, and punishing all those commission members who stuffed ballots in large stacks,” he noted.

Grigol Vashadze added the rallies will start from tomorrow. “We will start non-stop protest rallies, which will be peaceful and within the frames of the Constitution, and every attempt by the authorities to limit these rights will receive strict protest from the society,” he said.

The Presidential runoff was held on November 28. The ruling party-backed candidate Salome Zurabishvili obtained 59.52% of the votes, while her challenger – Grigol Vashadze of the United Opposition finished with 40.48% of the votes. Vashadze did not accept the election results, citing mass election fraud.


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