On October 19, police prevented reporters and activists from the opposition United National Movement (UNM) from reaching Chorvila, the birthplace of GD founder Bidzina Ivanishvili, as a group of supporters of jailed former president Mikheil Saakashvili, led by UNM’s Sopo Japaridze, marched from Tbilisi to Chorvila today to protest against “oligarchic rule” in Georgia. Supporters of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) also reportedly took part in restricting access to the village.
“Today, symbolically, we are heading towards Russian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili’s home village where we will definitely remind him that he cannot russify us. We will remind him that he cannot shirk his accountability and cannot replace Georgians with Russians,”- Japaridze said upon departing from Tbilisi.
“Bidzina Ivanishvili is a Russian oligarch, exercising informal control over the country, and he must be defeated,”- Giorgi Mumladze, one of Saakashvili’s supporters said during the protest at Chorvila.
UNM activists were reportedly egged and swore at by some of the Chorvila village residents -supporters of Bidzina Ivanishvili and ruling GD.
On October 11th, Sopo Japaridze opened the “Society Center” of Mikheil Saakashvili, which she said would serve as a place from where the public would be informed about the steps taken to Mikheil Saakashvili’s freedom as well as about Saakashvili’s position on current national issues.
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