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Some Opposition Parties to ‘Welcome’ Biden with Rally
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Jul.'09 / 18:34

A group of opposition parties said they planned to rally on the evening of July 22 on the capital city’s main square to express “Georgia’s attachment to western and democratic values and to greet and welcome” U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, who will arrive in Tbilisi that day.

A joint appeal by the opposition parties to the U.S. Vice President, described as “the address of the Georgian people,” reads: “It’s time for change in Georgia” – a slogan under which the rally will be held on Freedom Square.

Conservative Party (led by Kakha Kukava and Zviad Dzidziguri); Georgia’s Way (led by Salome Zourabichvili); Party of People (led by Koba Davitashvili); Democratic Movement-United Georgia (led by Nino Burjanadze); Movement for United Georgia (ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili’s party); as well as Levan Gachechiladze, an individual opposition politician have called for the rally. Alliance for Georgia has refused to participate, as well as the National Forum. Nino Burjanadze and Levan Gachechiladze will be among those opposition leaders expected to meet with Vice President Biden in Tbilisi.

“It is more than a hundred days that we are demanding the very same changes that President Barack Obama’s new administration has set as a goal for itself and for the world. It can be said that Georgia today is the country which more than any other needs this change. It is time for change in Georgia,” the joint address to the Vice President reads.

It says that President Saakashvili “failed the ideals of the Rose Revolution and has betrayed the course chosen by his own people.” It also blames Saakashvili for setting “on the path towards authoritarianism” and for dragging Georgia into war with Russia last August.

“We are awaiting your visit in Georgia with the greatest hope and we believe that the new posture of your administration is what we need in order to give back to our people the right to free choice and free elections and that will help to bring the country once and forever out of its dark past,” the address to the U.S. Vice President reads.

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