TBILISI, September 29 (Itar-Tass) —— An opposition rally organised by the “Georgian Dream” coalition in downtown Tbilisi on Saturday, September 29, and attended by some 130,000-200,000 people has ended.
Coalition leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishviili lashed out at the incumbent authorities for having led “the country to a dead-end under the pretext of democracy and care”.
“Not only have the authorities failed to solve existing problems, but they also multiplied them. They tried to stanch the wave of protests and prolong their own time through intimidation, blackmailing and arrests, but to no avail,” he said.
He stressed that the international community “will not turn a blind eye to lawlessness committed by the incumbent Georgian authorities with regard to their own people”.
“The authorities have no moral right any more to rule the country further,” Ivanishvili stressed.
He and his allies are convinced that “at the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 1 people will give their votes for the supremacy of law and speediest resolution of the main problems in the country”.
Ivanishvili said, “The birthday of a new Georgia is coming and the whole country has risen against lawlessness.”
However the leaders of the ruling party “United National Movement” said that “at the October 1 elections the majority of people in Georgia will support its course towards further reforms and democratic development”.
At a 70,000-strong rally organised by the United National Movement on Friday evening, September 28, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said, “Certain forces want to return the country to the past when crime lords dictated their conditions to the whole society and the state”.
Parliament Speaker David Bakradze said the Georgian authorities seek to hold parliamentary elections in a free and democratic atmosphere.
“We want as many observers as possible to monitor them,” he said.
“Foreign observers have noted that the election situation in Georgia is “very tense but at the same time free,” Bakradze said.
He expressed confidence that “voting will go freely and democratically, and foreign partners are playing a big role in this”.
According to the Central Election Commission, observers from 60 foreign and 50 local organisations will monitor the elections. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has the largest number of observers – 300, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 54, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly 15.
In addition, European Union, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, GUAM, Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and other organisations will monitor the elections.
Officials from European countries, the United States, Latin America and Asia will be present.