Thousands Protest Georgia Government
Voice of America, Sunday, May 27, 2012
Tens of thousands of people rallied in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, to show their support for an opposition bid to oust President Mikhail Saakashvili's governing party at upcoming elections.
Sunday's demonstration was organized by supporters of the 'Georgian Dream' opposition movement led by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The rally, which ended at Georgia's Freedom square, was seen as a show of opposition support ahead of October's parliamentary elections.
Ivanishvili is currently barred from running for office after the government last year stripped him of his Georgian citizenship because he also held French and Russian citizenship.
Mr. Saakashvili's allies have denounced him, saying he will support Russian policy objectives in Georgia.
Parliament, however, has proposed changes which will allow EU citizens, which reside in Georgia, to contest in the polls.
Mr. Saakashvili's presidential term ends in January 2013 and it is unclear if he will run for prime minister. Sunday's rally was the largest since opposition protest three years ago.
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