Saakashvili's supporters at a rally in Tbilisi. Photo by Inna Kukudzhanova for the Caucasian Knot

15 October 2021, 12:27

Tbilisi: large action in support of Saakashvili reveals opposition' protest potential

The large-scale rally held by supporters of Mikheil (Mikhail) Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia, has become a serious argument of the "United National Movement" (UNM) Party in favour of its intentions, the political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 1, Mikhail Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia, returned to his homeland, and on the same day, he was imprisoned in Rustavi, and went on a hunger strike.

On October 14, in Freedom Square, three huge screens with Saakashvili's portraits were set up; the fourth screen showed the footage of the 2003 Rose Revolution. The rally was opened by Nika Gvaramiya, Director General of the "Mtavari Arkhi" TV Channel, who is also a Saakashvili's advocate. He has read out Saakashvili's letter, in which the politician called on all the forces to unite and reject any revenge, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent has reported.

According to the UNM, about 50,000 people gathered in Freedom Square in Tbilisi.

The large rally is an UNM's serious claim about the forces under the party's control, Zaala Andjaparidze, a political analyst, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"Even if we assume that there was a half of the declared number of people, this is a serious statement that the opposition has increased the army of its supporters, and they have serious intentions and many resources. The authorities will have to react to such massive manifestations of public opinion," Mr Andjaparidze has stated.

The crowd that gathered in the square has shown that the UNM managed to mobilize, Gela Vasadze, a political analyst, believes. After such an action, diplomatic missions will have to react, albeit not publicly, Mr Vasadze has stated, noting that "at least it will be difficult and impossible to convince them that Saakashvili is just a marginal figure."

However, he doubts the possibility of Saakashvili's pardoning by the Georgian President, Salome Zurabishvili. "The need for authorities' reaction doesn't mean his release. But the issue of why Georgians don't defend Saakashvili has been lifted," Mr Vasadze has concluded.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 15, 2021 at 00:22 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov, Galina Gotua Source: CK correspondents

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