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Opposition Says to Launch Protests in Provinces
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Apr.'09 / 19:22

Gubaz Sanikidze of the National Forum told protesters outside the Parliament on April 29, that the opposition planned “to geographically expand rallies” by launching protests in the provincial regions.

He did not specify when the opposition planned the move; he said the opposition would provide more details later.

“The Georgian people are very furious and very principled and we should show it to the authorities,” he said. “The army is in fact on our side; the army is on the Georgian side; many policemen are telling us that they are on our side; they do not want to protect maniac Saakashvili.”

Earlier on April 29, the opposition leaders met with a large group of political and economic analysts, representatives of civil society and media to share opinion on ongoing protests and the opposition’s tactics.

Irakli Alasania, the leader of Alliance for Georgia, said after the meeting that the opposition was ready for a dialogue with the authorities and also added that the authorities should undertake some concrete steps, which might help to increase confidence towards the government.

“The issue, which was pushed forth by the opposition based on the society’s demand - Saakashvili’s resignation and early presidential elections - naturally is considered by everybody as the only right way for helping the country out of the political crisis,” Alasania said after the meeting.

“There are problematic issues in almost all spheres and we may push these various issues and demand from the authorities to take steps [to tackle these issues] prior to a dialogue. Such move could help build confidence. Among these issues there may be the issues of media, the issue of law enforcement agencies. About 80 attacks have occurred recently against the protesters and these facts are completely neglected by the authorities. if the authorities take steps towards tackling these issues that will help building public confidence towards the dialogue. So, at this point these issues are under discussion; meetings will continue [with civil society representatives],” Alasania said.

Nino Burjanadze, a former parliamentary chairperson and leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, said after the meeting that she saw “no possibilities of talking with the President on any other issue” except of his resignation.

“If anyone sees such a possibility, we will not impede them doing that,” she said.

Later on the same day, Burjanadze reiterated the position while speaking to protesters outside the Parliament and said that the authorities “can not be trusted.”

“They want to use the dialogue for decreasing of the protest momentum; they will use the dialogue for squeezing the opposition,” Burjanadze said. “Many people abroad are surprised when Burjanadze is saying it about the dialogue, but I have a bitter experience, when I trusted them [the authorities when she was the parliamentary speaker], but I have been deceived for many times.”

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