UNM Plans Nationwide Protest Rallies

Following the Tbilisi City Court’s decision not to release former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili or to defer his sentence, the United National Movement announced a parliamentary boycott, saying that it was moving to “an emergency regime” and would hold protest rallies across the country in solidarity with Saakashvili.

The first two rallies were already held on February 6 and 7 in front of the home of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the government administration. At yesterday’s news briefing, Levan Khabeishvili, the newly elected chairman of the UNM party, said that the rallies would also be held in regions that would “give a huge protest impetus” to the planned rally in the capital.

The National Movement will hold another rally outside the Ministry of Justice on February 8. Tomorrow, rallies will be held in Khelvachauri, Signagi, Marneili, Zestaponi and Borjomi; on February 10 – in Kobuleti, Martvili, Samtredia, Sagarejo and Khashuri; on February 11, the UNM members and supporters will gather in Shekvetili, near the house of Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of the Georgian Dream party.

At the end of the news briefing, Levan Khabeishvili addressed the opposition politicians, saying that “we need unity” instead of “wasting time criticizing each other.” “Every second and every minute is important for our country’s European future,” he added, calling on citizens to join the protest rallies.       

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