Georgian opposition fails to gather enough supporters, hopes for Sunday rally

Georgian opposition leaders said their Saturday rally against President Mikhail Saakashvili’s rule failed to gather enough supporters, but the situation may change on Sunday when more protestors arrive to the capital.

The People’s Assembly opposition party, led by ex-world chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili and ex-parliamentary speaker Nino Burdzhanadze, had announced its plans to gather at least 60,000 people at protests demanding the early resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili on Saturday. However, various sources put the number of protestors at 5,000-20,000 people.

“We planned to see many more [supporters],” Gaprindashvili told the Maestro TV channel. “But one day is not enough to defeat the dictatorship.”

The organizing committee said in a statement that many of its supporters were “denied an opportunity to get to Tbilisi,” but expressed hope that the situation will change on Sunday.

The rally by People’s Assembly was snubbed by supporters of other opposition parties and movements.

Organizers plan to rally at the Freedom Square in downtown Tbilisi from May 21 to May 25 in what they see as a “decisive fight” to oust Saakashvili,” a pro-Western leader accused by many of corruption and a crackdown on democratic reforms.

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 the regime.

TBILISI, May 22 (RIA Novosti)

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