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TBILISI, January 15 (Itar-Tass) — Some one million signatures have been collected in Georgia to support the demand for the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili, head of the public organization Unanimity for Public Rights Mikhail Andguladze told reporters on Tuesday.
"The signatures, gathered by several public organizations in the past two and half months in various regions of Georgia, are evidence of the will of a majority of Georgia's population that Saakashvili should step down," Andguladze said.
"January 20 will mark the 5th anniversary of Saakashvili's second inauguration, so he must resign. If he does not step down, large peaceful rallies will be held in Tbilisi and other Georgian citizens demanding Saakashvili's resignation," he added.
Meanwhile, Saakashvili stated he had no intention to resign early. He also said the presidential election would take place in the autumn of 2023. Under the Georgian Constitution, the president is elected for a term of five years, yet it also states that the next presidential polls are due in October 2013. Many Georgian politicians and public organizations disagree, demanding Saakashvili's resignation in January and the announcement of new elections.
Georgia has a population of 4.5 million, including 3.613 million with voting rights. Signature gathering has no legal force, yet politicians and public figures said it "reflects the population's position."