Georgian oppositionists have staged the first rally in a series of demonstrations calling on President Mikheil Saakashvili to step down.
On Friday, Saakashvili came under fierce attack by nearly 10,000 opposition supporters who held him responsible for forcing Georgia into a losing battle against Russia in August.
The rally was held in commemoration of last-year’s widespread anti-government demonstrations which were throttled by the police.
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Last November’s protests prompted Saakashvili to declare a state of emergency and early presidential polls which he disputably won.
Protesters also pressed for snap parliamentary polls, threatening to launch unceasing rallies if their demand was not met by next April.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“We are starting a new wave of civil confrontation, and we will not give up until new elections are called,” opposition leader Kakha Kukava was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Critics say Saakashvili’s achievements are far from consistent with the pledges he had made before rising to power during the 2003 ‘Rose Revolution’.