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TBILISI, January 3 (Itar-Tass) — Georgian public organizations demanding the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili have collected 650,000 signatures in favor of that, the head of the Unanimity for Human Rights non-government organization, Mikhail Andguladze, said on Thursday.
Andguladze, who is one of the initiators of the action, said the signatures had been collected “throughout Georgia”. “These 650,000 signatures have expressed the will of a sizable part of the population (4.5 million people live in Georgia) who believe Mikhail Saakashvili must step down as president,” Andguladze said.
The head of the Tetrebi (Whites) political movement, Temur Shashiashvili, told reporters for his part that “January 20 marks five years since the second inauguration of Saakashvili as president, and that is why he must resign”. He said the organizers of the action plan a peaceful rally in front of the presidential palace on Friday. Its participants will relay to the presidential administration demands for Saakashvili’s resignation starting from January 20.
Under the Constitution, Georgian presidents are elected for the term of five years. At the same time, the document says that the next presidential election must be held in October 2013. Experts note that these provisions of the Constitution are at variance with each other.
Meanwhile, Saakashvili himself says he is not going to resign ahead of time, stressing that “the presidential election will be held in the autumn of 2013”.