Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said holding the March for Dignity today on Rustaveli Avenue is “unreasonable” as it contains risks of “civil confrontation,” and the majority of the populace finds it “unacceptable.” The PM also claimed the event is organized by “radical opposition” headed by Ex-President Saakashvili.
PM Garibashvili noted the Interior Ministry explained the said risks to the Tbilisi Pride organizers and offered alternative locations for the demonstration. He called on the activists to take up the authorities’ suggestion.
But, the Georgian PM claimed that “radical opposition headed by [United National Movement’s leader-in-exile] Saakashvili” is behind the organizing of the Pride March, aiming to sow “unrest” in the society. “I say this with full responsibility,” the PM asserted.
“We will not let this [unrest] happen, everything will be in our country as our people want,” PM Garibashvili declared.
The statement comes as scores of citizens have already gathered on Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare in a counter-rally called by Georgian Orthodox Church, as well as far-right and ultra-conservative groups.
Giorgi Tabagari, Tbilisi Pride Director, dubbed PM Garibashvili’s accusation that Saakashvili is pulling the strings “unbelievable.” “Shameful statement and highly irresponsible of PM, it only worsens the already tense situation,” tweeted the LGBTQ activist leader.