TBILISI, February 8 (Itar-Tass) – Over 1.2 million signatures demanding President Mikhail Saakashvili’s resignation were collected in Georgia, representatives of the non-governmental organization Unanimity for the Rights of Society told reporters on Friday.
They believe that “Saakashvili’s term of office expired on January 20, 2013.” “The parliament should fix this fact and powers of the president should be handed over to the parliamentary speaker until the new presidential election is held.”
These signatures have been collected by several non-governmental organizations over the past three months in different regions of Georgia and “prove that the majority of Georgia’s population seek Saakashvili’s departure.”
Under the Constitution the Georgian president is elected for five years. However, the basic law states that the next presidential election should be held in October after the president’s term of office expires.
Saakashvili, who had been elected as president in January 2008, announced that he had no intention to step down ahead of time and insisted that the election would take place in autumn.
There are 4.5 million people in Georgia, of them 3.613 million are eligible voters. Collection of signatures has no legal force, but politicians and public figures believe that this move reflects position of the population.