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Questions remain as April 19 rally approaches

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 18
As the April 19 UNM rally approaches, speculation grows within the Georgian media and in political circles. Estimations of all the possible developments are controversial. Some say it will be an ordinary oppositional event; others draw the picture of an apocalyptic scenario predicting bloodshed, confrontation, violence and so on. And indeed this rally will provide an opportunity to measure UNM influence. This will be decided by the number of people who actually attend the rally.

Secretary General of the UNM, Vano Merabishvili, who is recently playing the number one violin in the UNM, promised many surprises on April 19. Some analysts predict that Merabishvili will be nominated as the UNM's presidency candidate and their pre-election campaign will start. In this case, it will be a democratic and acceptable step. UNM leaders have neither denied or approved this idea.

Some scenarios of April 19 however, do not fit within the democratic margins and contain certain threats, because among the people who appear at the rally could be not only supporters, but those who do not agree with the UNM, and thus, a confrontation might start. Some also predict that certain provocations could also be staged. This could begin with UNM activists aiming to provoke police officers to use force.

If the police are compelled to use force, President Saakashvili could also use his power to discharge the Minister of Interior Affairs (MIA) and thus, undermine the cabinet of ministers.

The set April 19 date for the high-scale event was announced around two months ago, presumably in an effort to keep people in suspension.

At the end of the day, the UNM will be willing to create any kind of disorder; whereas the ruling Georgian Dream will try to do its best to hold the event in an organized manner. By the way, some time ago, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili recommended his supporters to refrain from any activities on April 19 and stay away from the rally.