Big Demos Planned to Seek Georgia Regime Change

By Democratic Movement - United Georgia Party And The Public Assembly, PRNE
Thursday, May 19, 2011

TBILISI, Georgia, May 20, 2011 - A massive public demonstration tomorrow (Saturday 21 May) to demand
political, social and economic reform in Georgia is set to attract up to
100,000 protestors in the capital Tbilisi, according to Nino Burjanadze, the
country's main opposition leader. A simultaneous rally is also planned in the
city of Batumi in southwest Georgia.

Nino Burjanadze of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia party and the
Public Assembly, a group of political parties, have both called for peaceful
marches against Georgia's incumbent regime led by President Mikheil
in a bid to lead to early elections in the former Soviet state.

Mrs Burjanadze said: "Unemployment, corruption, selective justice and the
loss of the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have all spiralled out
of control under President Saakashvilli's hopeless leadership and the
Georgian people have suffered for too long. But enough is enough. The people
of Georgia will take to the streets tomorrow and show the decrepit government
that the good people of our nation cannot tolerate the self-serving
incompetence any longer. It is time for change."

Georgia has parliamentary and Presidential elections slated for 2012 and
2013 respectively. Nino Burjanadze claims that the country cannot wait any
longer for a possible regime change and any elections held under President
Saakashvili will not be democratic.

She said: "We have to stop the rot as soon as possible. President
Saakashvilli and his government have duped the West with the pretence of
running a democratic government. This facade is in fact a dictatorial regime
where freedom of speech is stifled, justice is skewed and a chosen few are
busy lining their own pockets.

"We need to get to the ballot boxes urgently, have fair and free
elections scrutinised by independent observers and move forward.

"But the regime is running scared. Although tomorrow's planned
demonstrations in Tbilisi and Batumi will be peaceful rallies, the
authorities are arresting bus drivers, closing roads and controlling railway
stations to stymie the travel plans of thousands of people who want to take
to the streets to air their concerns, speak openly and rub shoulders with
like-minded people who want change for the good.

"We know we have enough supporters throughout the country who share our
values and want to demonstrate tomorrow - and I'd put that figure as high as
100,000 - but with President Saakashvilli's government once more determined
to flex its muscle and suppress free speech with its blocking tactics that
number may well reduce.

"But we will not be downhearted as tomorrow's rallies are part of an
on-going process towards change; a change that I believe is wanted
desperately by the Georgian people and one that will prevail.

"Put simply, our country is on its knees and all but a selfish minority
cannot enjoy their lives. In the modern era that is utterly unacceptable and
through the ballot box we can make a difference, but it has to be sooner
rather than later."

Zhenya Harrison / +77-7917-554-824

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