The messenger logo

Anticipating April 19

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 4
Friday April 19, 2013 has been announced as “doomsday” by the United National Movement (UNM). On April 1, Secretary General of the UNM, Vano Merabishvili, stated that after April 19, the political situation in the country will radically change.

Maybe it was an April fool’s joke, but presumably the Georgian Dream coalition will take it seriously and try to take preventive measures which could deteriorate and make the situation in the country more complicated.

Leader of the UNM and acting President Mikheil Saakashvili has given the whole organization’s powers to Merabishvili and it looks like the UNM plans to organize something really substantial. However, it has become noticeable that Saakashvili managed to give the floor to Merabishvili who in fact has become the spokesperson of the UNM. The UNM is gambling: if it manages to gather solid number of supporters for the rally, Saakashvili might risk dissolving the parliament and announce snap elections.

In a way it is a test rally, but as we have mentioned earlier, the UNM might consider the illusion it creates as a reality. People in the streets might not necessarily be their true supporters, as usually many people come to the streets for curiosity and there will be mostly spectators rather than activists. It is unlikely that Saakashvili will receive enough support on the ground.

Some analysts and media suggest that the UNM is distributing money for participation in the rally. It is suggested that the rally is targeted for a confrontation.

What is the UNM targeting with this rally? They will be speaking about the shortcomings of the current leadership with regard to domestic and foreign policy. But this is not new. It has been done by the parliamentary opposition almost every day.

When the April 19 rally was announced over a month ago, the major accusation towards the Georgian Dream was its foreign policy, which according to the UNM, is a deviation from the Western orientation of the country. However, parliament adopted an inter-faction resolution confirming once again the county’s Western commitment. But as Merabishvili said, people who come out to the streets will receive many surprises and learn news.

Georgian Dream representatives suggest that the UNM activists will try to trigger violence provoking confrontation and maybe even cause casualties. UNM leaders may cause provocations in different directions during the rally or in the regions.

Apart from the UNM supporters the Georgian dream activists also plan to come out in the streets to oppose to the possible developments. There are many people whose rights were abused by the UNM during their governance the last nine years and they will be ready to take revenge.

The moves of the mob could be unpredictable. Of course the ruling party will mobilize police officers in the streets. So people are waiting for the developments of April 19 with much alert although there are some suggestions that this is" much ado about nothing". However, the ruling administration should be ready for any type of developments.