Georgians want Saakashvili to step down

Georgia's major cities - Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, Ozurgeti - held protests demanding the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili. In the Georgian capital, protesters gathered outside the presidential residence, holding banners "Mikhail, leave" and "Come on, goodbye."

The protests were organized by a number of public organizations. Activists of the anti-presidential campaign said that their requirement was consistent with "legal, political and moral norms."

Mikhail Andguladze, the leader of one of the organizations, said that "a large proportion of the population has the will to ensure Saakashvili steps down." The protesters said they had collected more than 800,000 signatures for the resignation of the sitting President of Georgia.

"January 20 will mark five years after Saakashvili's second inauguration, so he should resign. If he does not step down as president by that time, such public actions will become regular and larger," said Andguladze.

The protesters drew attention to the fact that Saakashvili's presidential term expires on January 5, 2013, according to the Georgian Constitution, but he artificially extended it before the fall of 2013. Saakashvili himself has repeatedly said that he would not leave his post until the presidential election in October.

Georgia has found itself under the conditions of dual power. Opposition coalition The Georgian Dream  won the parliamentary elections on Oct. 1, 2012. Billionaire Boris (Bidzina) Ivanishvili became the Prime Minister, whereas President Mikhail Saakashvili and the former ruling party "United National Movement" went into opposition.


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