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Georgian opposition in fifth day of protests to oust Saakashvili

RIA Novosti

14:13 25/05/2011 TBILISI, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - Several hundred opposition activists gathered on Wednesday outside the Public TV building in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in a fifth day of protests calling for President Mikheil Saakashvili to resign.

The protesters are expected to march toward the center of the city to Freedom Square where the main event will take place.

There are banners with photographs of the people whose death the opposition blames on the Georgian authorities.

All protesters are wearing blue caps (the color of the opposition People's Assembly movement) that are being handed out to everyone, including reporters.

The People's Assembly has announced that they plan to gather at Tbilisi's central Freedom Square on Wednesday to disrupt an official Independence Day parade.

In her remarks at the rally, Nino Burdzhanadze, the People's Assembly leader and also a parliamentary speaker, lamented the fact that the Georgian opposition was divided.

A Georgian radical opposition group, the Georgian Party, on Tuesday canceled plans to hold a Day of Wrath rally.

The Georgian Party intended to go ahead with the protest on Wednesday, but changed its plans after failing to persuade Burdzhanadze.

Burdzhanadze announced on Sunday the start of a revolution in Georgia. She said on Tuesday the revolution must be carried out by the Georgian people, with "no outside interference."

However she admitted that ethnic Georgians living in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan or any other country should be given a say on who rules the country next.

Saakashvili was elected president by a landslide in 2004 after the Rose Revolution, but his popularity has waned since a series of corruption scandals in 2007 and the destructive 2008 war with Russia.



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