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Is Georgia on the brink of a 'day of rage'?

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But after Georgian police used truncheons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to break up a mostly peaceful rally of 2,000 outside Georgia's public TV studios on Sunday, leaving several people injured, the coalition's most prominent leader, Nino Burzhanadze, warned that the mood of protest is growing restless.

"A revolution has begun and the authorities have started it, as they use criminal actions against us, while we have only peaceful methods," she told journalists.

Independent Georgian observers say they find it difficult to explain why the opposition is suddenly erupting into the streets after nearly two years of relative quiescence. Although critics of Saakashvili are numerous, especially in the capital, Tbilisi, the president's party won a massive victory in parliamentary elections a year ago, which, despite being criticized as unsatisfactory by some international observers, seemed to show that he enjoys the support of the majority of Georgians.

The next presidential elections are due in 2013.

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