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Republican Party to Join Planned Rally Nominally
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 Nov.'08 / 19:58

Activists from the opposition Republican Party may join the protest rally planned for November 7 individually, not on behalf of the party, Davit Usupashvili, the Republican Party leader, said on Wednesday.

A former opposition presidential candidates, Levan Gachechiladze, as well as opposition Conservative Party called on supporters last month to gather outside the Parliament on November 7 to mark the first anniversary of the police break up of anti-governmental protest rally. The New Rights, Party of People, Movement for United Georgia and Labor Party said they would join the rally. It, however, still remains unclear whether it will be just a symbolic demonstration marking the November 7 anniversary or will the opposition use the rally to push for political demands – including early parliamentary elections. Some commentators have suggested that the opposition’s actions would depend on the number of supporters gathered at the rally. Some Republican Party figures, however, said such an approach was not acceptable as supporters should exactly know what the action plan is.

Davit Usupashvili said on November 5, that the Republican Party “is not an organizer or an initiator of the rally” and the party’s position on the planned rally differed from the one of other opposition parties. The Republican Party officials have said recently on a number of occasions that the opposition parties were holding consultations to agree on a joint action plan and tactics. But no such joint plan has been put forth; some opposition politicians have even acknowledged that parties were divided on tactics.

Speaking with the Georgian Public Broadcaster on November 4 Levan Gachechiladze said that the opposition wanted to change the election system and then holding of early presidential and parliamentary elections. He also said that the opposition also demanded easing the authorities grip on broadcast media. 

Meanwhile, a Tbilisi-based Kavkasia TV has been airing in recent days the opposition’s brief infomercial calling on the supporters to rally on November 7. 

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