Dispersal of rally at the Georgian Parliament building, June 21, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

26 June 2019, 11:08

Analysts dispute about Georgian opposition's role in protests

Most of the actions underway in Georgia are controlled by political forces, including the current protests, Zaal Andjaparidze, the programme coordinator of the International Centre for Conflicts and Negotiations, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in Georgia, protest actions are being held daily starting from June 20. The protesters have already succeeded in achieving the resignation of Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze. In the evening on June 22, protesters voiced three more demands to the authorities: the release of the detainees, the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakhariya, and the holding of parliamentary elections under a proportional system.

Activists began storming the parliament after the Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov appeared in the chair of the parliament speaker. Russian Communist Party MP was attending opening of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi.

He believes that protesters' demand to hold parliamentary elections under the proportional system indicates links with political forces; and this has nothing to do with Gavrilov's sitting on the Speaker's chair.

In Mr Andjaparidze's opinion, the protesters' demand to dismiss the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has to do with the opposition's desire to remove one of the key figures of the "Georgian Dream" Party.

Kakha Gogolashvili, the head of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, believes that the opposition held only a protest action at the parliament on June 20, which ended in clashes with the police. He told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that he doubted that politicians could stand behind subsequent actions, as it is difficult to manage young people and the crowd.

"It's difficult for the opposition to benefit from these protest actions. The 'United National Movement' (UNM) Party tried to head the rally, but most of the protesters distrust this party," Mr Gogolashvili has stated, not excluding that as a result of these protests, new quasi-parties may appear, representing the interests of certain segments of the population.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 26, 2019 at 06:39 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Inna Kukudzhanova; Source: CK correspondent

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