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Should the opposition call off their hunger strike now that the Patriarch has asked them to stop?

Friday, March 21
“He appealed to them awhile ago to stop, but they didn’t, so I don’t think they’ll stop now. They should stop: they’re killing themselves, but without any results.”
Maiko, teacher, 44

“Yes, of course they should stop. You know, people don’t trust the opposition anymore. In the presidential elections, I personally voted for [opposition coalition candidate Levan] Gachechiladze, but now I’m sorry I did, because their behavior is ridiculous. They don’t have any real reasons to even be on hunger strike. Every day they have different demands. I hope they have enough faith in God to agree with the Patriarch.”
Nazi, biologist, 58

“Don’t they understand there’s no point in hunger striking? I think it’s been almost two weeks that they’ve been camped out in front of parliament. I went down there yesterday—it smells terrible and there’s trash all over the center of Tbilisi. The Patriarch is the wisest man in Georgia, and they should have faith in his words.”
Gaga, student, 21

“Definitely! I respect their courage, but there’s no point in hunger striking in this country. There they are, but Misha [Saakashvili] is in Washington and doesn’t care what happens in Tbilisi. The Patriarch is the only man who can solve this problem between the two sides, and I’ll be very glad if they agree with him.”
Tamuna, economist, 32

“Oh, the opposition are our country’s shame. I can’t understand what they want in politics. I don’t trust them, and I don’t believe for a second that they’re such Georgian patriots that they’re ready to die.”
Irakli, musician, 25

“I support them, but it’s time to finish protesting until the elections.”
Natela, pensioner, 65

“His appeal is logical. They must stop. They have families, they are people, not just politicians. But our president is really shameless, ignoring the situation.”
Irakli, psychologist, 27

“There isn’t any way out. I don’t want the opposition to step backwards, but they’re falling into a deadlock. I wonder what the president is thinking about going abroad and visiting people. Does he think that what’s going on in front of parliament is only a matter of concern for the opposition?!”
Mariami, finance worker, 38

“Yes, of course. We have had harsh experiences when the Georgian people didn’t follow his warnings, and situation degenerated into the fatal events of April 9 [1989]. They must stop, even it isn’t politically advantageous.”
Nika, builder, 23