Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of the New Rights Party, said he would join a rally planned for January 13 to protest alleged ballot-rigging.
“I will attend that rally in solidarity with Levan Gachechiladze [the main presidential candidate backed by the nine-party opposition coalition] and in solidarity with the people protesting against ballot-rigging,” Gamkrelidze said on January 10 on Rustavi 2 TV's Primetime political talk show.
The opposition New Rights Party has never been part of the nine-party coalition and refused to join the bloc’s anti-government demonstrations last November, which eventually led to the early presidential polls.
Gamkrelidze also said that the authorities were manipulating election results to secure Saakashvili’s re-election in the first round and to avoid a run-off. “But it is obvious that a run-off is needed,” he said.
He said that Levan Tarkhnishvili, the chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), should immediately resign. “He really deserved Levan Gachechiladze's criticism. He is really a cheat,” Gamkrelidze added.
He also said that participation in the parliamentary elections, which will apparently be held in spring, would be “pointless” if there were no guarantees of “justice.”
“Election administrations, media coverage, the judiciary – currently all these are questionable,” he said. “I will not take part in [parliamentary] elections if there are no guarantees [for free and fair elections].”