Article by Tata Shoshiashvili OC Media:
Georgian Dream party rally in Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, photo by Tata Shoshiashvili / OC Media.
During the last pre-election rally organized by the ruling Georgian Dream party in Georgia, tens of thousands of people gathered in Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, on Rustaveli Avenue.
All prominent figures in the party, including Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and party leader Irakli Kobakhidze, addressed the rally on Wednesday.
Party leaders in their speeches condemned The ruling United National Movement (UNM) party’s term as “dictatorial regime” and the party ‘s founder, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, was recently called a “dictator.”
Concluding the rally, Kakha Kaladze called on Georgians to “finally defeat evil” in Saturday’s election.
The ruling party is expected to run in the second round of local elections on October 30 in all five self-governing cities of the country, including the capital Tbilisi, where Kakha Kaladze is running against United National Movement leader Nika Melia.
Preparations for Wednesday’s rally began on Tuesday afternoon, closing the capital. several dozen streetsCausing large-scale blockages.
Most of the protesters were probably brought to the capital from the regions of Georgia by buses, and the rows of minibuses parked in the streets near Freedom Square reached kilometers. According to “Liberty” radio station, most of the participants were public sector employees or civil servants.
Pirveli TV Company, who regularly criticizes the Georgian authorities, said that people were paid 50 GEL ($ 15) to participate in the rally.
In the first round of local elections in Tbilisi on October 2, Kakha Kaladze received 45% of the vote, and Nika Melia – 34%.
In parallel with the rally organized by the Georgian Dream in Tbilisi, on the same day, the United National Movement held a rally in Zugdidi, the capital of Georgia’s western Samegrelo province, calling for the release of Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on hunger strike for almost a month.
The fact that several thousand people took part in the rally in Zugdidi was less crowded than the previous rally of the United National Movement on October 14 in Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, during which tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of the capital.