CSOs Take Aim at Georgian Dream as Country Misses EU Candidacy

Georgia’s civil society activists united by the “Take a Step Towards Europe” movement have condemned what they see as the government’s deliberate failure as the European Council granted Georgia European perspective in lieu candidate status, and urged the public attend rally planned at 20:00 on June 24.

During a midnight press briefing, attended by a number of civil society leaders, Transparency International Georgia’s Eka Gigauri said “Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream doomed the Georgian people.” “We must gather together to do everything to change what is happening in our country today.”

“It’s very important that we show the authorities that we will not let them to destroy our future… and that we will demand an answer from them for lying to the people that they would give them the Georgian dream and instead gave us the Russian dream,” she added.

Nika Simonishvili, Chairperson of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, another veteran CSO, slammed the government for being the “political force killing the future of mine, yours, my colleagues’ and that of our friends.”

“It destroyed the dream of any Georgian for us to become a part of the EU and it destroyed this dream for many years to come,” he said.

Shota Dighmelashvili, one of the founders of the activist group Shame Movement, that organizes the planned June 24 rally, said “we will all gather in front of Parliament to voice our demands towards the authorities and to ensure that Georgia, once again, becomes a leader on the path to European integration.”

Planned Protest

The rally, which will meet in front of the Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare, is a follow-up to the massive pro-European March for Europe rally of June 20.

The organizers are expected to announce further steps on how to push the government to follow through with priority reforms, demanded by the European Union for Georgia to secure the candidate status.

They will likely announce details of the new popular movement for which Dighmelashvili read a manifesto at the June 20 rally that called for creating a National Council uniting civil society, media, political parties, students, and trade unions to demand the government adheres to its obligations.

Rallies are also slated for Kutaisi, western Georgia’s chief town and east-central Georgia’s town of Gori at 17:00. Teona Pankvelashvili, one of the organizers of the Gori protest, urged “everyone to come out and show their goodwill so that our country, whose course the authorities veered towards Russia with great ambition, can reaffirm once again that we choose Europe.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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