Caucasian leachate

Once again the Georgian opposition is trying to throw President Mikhail Saakashvili out of the saddle with crude demonstrations. Police responded with trangas, rubber bullets and arrests

"Misha must leave", "This is not my president". With media attention and posters in English and Georgian, 6 protesters demonstrated over the weekend.000 people in the Georgian capital Tbilisi against President Mikhail Saakashvili.

On Sunday, clashes broke out between demonstrators and police at a rally in front of the Tbilisi Television Center. In the port city of Batumi, a demonstration against Saakashvili had already been dispersed by the police on Saturday. On Sunday night, the police stormed the office of the opposition party "People’s assembly" in the port city and arrested eleven people.

Protest mood has many reasons

The protests of the colorful opposition against Saakashvili have been going on since 2007 and continue to flare up. The reasons are many. Georgia staples have increased in price by 30 percent. The vast majority of Georgians have to get by on an average income of the equivalent of 100 euros a month. However, Saakashvili’s authoritarian style of government, which began in 2003 with the "Rose Revolution" had come to power and had promised to make Georgia a truly democratic country. Membership in the EU and NATO should also be realized quickly.

Another reason for the renewed protests is the loss of the separatist provinces of Abkhazia and Sudossetia, which declared their independence after the Georgian war in August 2008. With the amateurish attempt to reconquer Sudossetia in a military coup d’etat, the President of the Republic of Moldova "Georgian soil" playful, according to many burgers.

"I bite my fingers when …"

With the weekend’s actions, the opposition is now making another attempt to throw Saakashvili out of the saddle. But the movement may need staying power, as it has taken more protesters to the streets before. Nevertheless, former parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze told protesters at Freedom Square in Tbilisi on Saturday that a "started a revolution provoked by the power". They will "if these protests do not lead to the resignation of Mikhail Saakashvili", said the 46-year-old opposition leader confidently.

Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili tried to play down the protests. "These people who make such rallies are very isolated from society", declared Merabishvili. Even the President himself demonstratively ignores the protests. On Sunday, Saakashvili left Tbilisi for a two-day state visit to Hungary.

Striking in front of the television center

On Sunday, the situation in Tbilisi came to a head when in front of the TV center, where about 3.000 protesters had gathered to a clash with the police came. Protesters smashed the windows of a car. There were allegedly three plainclothes policemen in the car. The driver of the car managed to get the car to safety just in time. As the police later announced, there were actually police officers in the car.

After the incident, police used trangas and rubber bullets against the rally participants. There were arrests. Several people were injured. An elderly woman had to be taken to hospital. The occupants of the car had tried to kidnap an opposition leader, opposition leader Nino Burjanadze later explained.

Mikhail Saakashvili has resisted the opposition in various ways in recent years. In November 2007, he declared a state of emergency because of the alleged threat of a Russian-directed coup attempt. Later he simply sabotaged the rough demonstrations of the opposition. This was easy for the authoritarian ruler because the opposition was divided and could not agree on a leadership figure.

This could now come to an end, as on Sunday the charismatic Nino Burjanadze and Levan Gachechiladze of the "Georgian party" cooperation. They embraced and exchanged friendly kisses in front of the rally participants at the TV center.

The rally in front of the television center, which was still attended by 2.000 people participated, is expected to last until Wednesday. For the 25. May has the opposition to the next rough protest action, the "Day of wrath", called. Former Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who is living in exile in France and who fell out of favor with Saakashvili in 2006, has announced his return to Tbilisi this day. At the same time the ex-minister rudely declared, "the 25. May will be the last day of the ruling power". In an interview with the Georgian television channel Maestro TV, Okruashvili called upon officers and soldiers of the Georgian army to "on the side of the people" to put. The Georgian Interior Ministry announced that they would arrest the former defense minister as soon as he crossed the border into Georgia.

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