Georgia’s police chief rules out possible revolution

Georgia’s Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili has ruled out a possibility of nationwide revolution and pledged that opposition rallies in Tbilisi and Batumi pose no threat to president Mikheil Saakasvili’s regime, the Novosti Gruzia news agency said.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters on Saturday rallied in Tbilisi demanding Saakashvili’s early resignation, while in the Black Sea port of Batumi protestors attempted to storm into a television building.

“We do not expect a revolution in Georgia,” Merabishvili told Rustavi-2 TV channel.

Opposition leaders on Saturday pledged that even more people would join the protests. “We have a chance to oust the anti-people’s regime,” parliamentary ex-speaker Nino Burdzhanadze, who is also a member of the leadership of the People’s Assembly opposition party, said.

The opposition accuses pro-Western Saakashvili of corruption and a crackdown on democratic reforms.

Saakashvili, 43, rose to power in the so-called Rose Revolution in 2003. He has been under pressure since 2007, when protests turned violent as opponents accused him of political persecution and failing to improve living standards.

MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) 

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