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Civil protest in Georgia, Shevardnadze to meet opposition
November 9, 2003
Civil Georgia News

Posted by HW on January 18, 2020

Protests continue
Thousands of protesters, fed up with the current regime, were gathered in front of the Parliament yesterday shouting, addressing President Shevardnadze: "Go, Resign."
Despite a rainy evening in the Georgian capital Tbilisi thousands keep protesting against President Shevardnadze. The mass ballot fraud and manipulation of election results sparked the protest marches all around Georgia.

Shevardnadze must resign
"There is only on way out of this standstill: Shevardnadze must resign," Mikheil Saakashvili opposition leader said late on November 8, while addressing crowd of around 20 thousand protesters.
He said that the opposition's only demand is holding of the new parliamentary elections and resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze.
"We will stay here and continue protest rally till our demands are not implemented," Mikheil Saakashvili said.

Police barriers
Mikheil Saakashvili said that thousands of people will arrive in Tbilisi from different regions of Georgia. However it is unclear whether these people will be able to get through the numerous police barriers on the highways to prevent the movement from the regions in direction of Tbilisi.
One woman was injured yesterday morning after the police started to shoot, when the crowd near Sagarejo, eastern Georgia, tried to break-through the police barrier.
All day long the main highways connecting western and eastern parts of Georgia with the capital city Tbilisi were blocked by the interior troops and the police.
The police were stopping all the buses en route to Tbilisi. The opposition says the authorities fear that the people living in the regions would join the protesters in Tbilisi.

"Destabilization attempts"
The Interior Minister Koba Narchemashvili said that everything will be done "to prevent any destabilization attempts in the country." No other official statement has been made by the authorities regarding the situation in the capital city so far.
The state-run media sources permanently reported today that the protest rallies are pre-condition of "civil confrontation in Georgia" accusing the opposition in "destabilization attempts," recalling early 90s civil unrest.

Civil protest
However, participants of the rally claim that fears over "civil confrontation" are groundless. "I do not understand why the government tries to frighten the population with the destabilization. No civil confrontation is possible, as there is no confrontation in society. What is happening now is society v government. This is the civil protest rally," writer Davit Maghradze says.

No aggression
"It is nonsense. I don't feel any aggression among the participants of the rally, so there is no threat of civil confrontation. I am here because I want to be among the people," famous Georgian actor Ramaz Chkhikvadze says.

Still no final results
The Central Election Commission, despite the observers and the U.S. concerns, still delays announcement of the final results of the November 2 parliamentary elections.
With about 90% of votes counted the Revival Union, led by head of Adjara Autonomous Republic Aslan Abashidze and the President Shevardnadze's election bloc For New Georgia lead the election results. The opposition National Movement is on the third place with 18,5%, followed by the Labor Party - 11,7% and the Burjanadze-Democrats - 7,6%. The Central Election Commission delays announcement of the final results of the elections.
However, it seems that the final results of the elections matters less to the opposition parties now. They do not recognize election results at all.

Shevardnadze among shouting protesters
Early this morning, President Shevardnadze unexpectedly appeared among the protesters in front of the Parliamentary building and tried to talk with the crowd demanding Shevardnadze's resignation.
However the protesters met the President with shouting: "Go, Resign."

Shevardnadze meets opposition
Nino Burjanadze, the Parliamentary Chairperson and the opposition leader, who was among the protesters held a short conversation with the President, after that Shevardnadze left the area.
"We agreed that the opposition leaders, including Zurab Zhvania and Mikheil Saakashvili will meet the President to deliver our demands," Nino Burjanadze said.

Shevardnadze was already in the car and leaving the area, when Mikheil Saakashvili tried to talks with him, however the President's bodyguards hindered Saakashvili to approach near the President's car.
Burjanadze, Nino (F) Politician Georgia
Saakashvili, Misha (M) Politician Georgia
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