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Who will join the UNM rally?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 5
There are various forecasts concerning the November 15 rally that was announced by the opposition United National Movement (UNM). And much will be depend on the number of people who join the demonstration in front of the parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue.

The UNM is dedicating the rally to Russia’s intentions to annex Georgia’s de-facto independent regions. The opposition claims that the current government has failed to adequately respond to Russia’s occupation plans in Georgia. The Georgian Dream coalition members call the opposition’s statements “cynical” as Russia fully occupied the regions under the previous (UNM) Georgian government.

Responding to the accusations, UNM representatives counter saying that Russia launched its aggressive policy towards the regions far before Mikheil Saakashvili’s governance.

“Hinting on the issue and shifting blame on to the previous government, as well as taking the developments in Ukraine into account, is not only unscrupulous, it is also the sign of immature policy,” the UNM statement reads.

There is a specific situation concerning the UNM. The party is the only opposition party in parliament that lacks the ability to unite other opposition parties around them. The UNM’s appeal to partake in the rally was responded to by two opposition entities and 27 NGOs.

The National Democrats led by Bachuki Kardava and the European Democrats chaired by Paata Davitaia appear to share the UNM’s aspirations. Negotiations are ongoing with the parties and it will be revealed on November 8, at a meeting in Zugdidi whether they will participate in the demonstration or not. 20 NGOs working on Abkhazian issues and 7 others have also expressed their readiness to contribute to the event.

The UNM ensures that it will be a one-time rally, which aims to protest Russia’s occupation policy. However, they do not exclude holding additional rallies near administrative borders. The UNM’s opponents believe that the party has a different plan, which envisages holding constant rallies that will crescendo on November 23, the anniversary of the Rose Revolution.

“From now up until the 23 November, the UNM will do its best to strain the situation, stage some criminal cases and raise the political temperature in the country,” Founder of the Free Generation Lado Sadghobelashvili said.

From time-to-time the government has accused the United National Movement in attempting a coup de tat. Georgian Dream officials state that if the UNM dares to take certain actions, they will have to answer for this.

On November 3, the newspaper Kvitis Kronika published an article, suggesting that several former high-ranking UNM officials might be detained prior to the rally. The newspaper claims that the information was delivered by a “trustworthy source.” According to the newspaper, the detainees will be Giorgi Vashadze, Davit Sakvarelidze, Giorgi Baramidze, Irma Nadirashvili, Giga Bokeria, members of the Free Zone movement and some others.

However, it is unlikely that the government has these kinds of plans, as such action would trigger increased UNM support. The main question is how many people will decide to stand by the UNM?