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Broom as the background of UNM’s final rally

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, October 7
The United National Movement (UNM) party held its final pre-election rally on October 5, where eight party leaders, including the country’s ex-President, addressed people with the background of a drone with a broom attached to it.

UNM said the party's supporters arrived from the “whole of Georgia” on Rose Square in central Tbilisi to listen to the leaders of their party.

The gathering was calm and without any violence. The only surprise was a “flying broom” over the rally, allegedly sent by the opponents of the UNM to remind people of the torture of prisoners with brooms during the UNM's tenure.

The area where the people gathered measures about 4,900 m? and up to 6,000-12,000 people can stand there, based on Google Maps.

However, UNM member Gigi Tsereteli claimed there were about 100,000 people gathered.

Georgia’s former President, Mikheil Saakashvili, addressed the crowd from Odessa, Ukraine, via video link, as he currently serves as Odessa's governor and has no Georgian citizenship.

He has so far refrained from returning to Georgia as he remains wanted for several alleged crimes by Georgia’s law enforcers.

Saakashvili vowed “he would cross the sea and come back to Georgia” in three days after the UNM wins in the upcoming October 8 race.

"In exactly three days, the experiment of the fractious Russian oligarch, who wanted to disintegrate our nation through rumours, accusations and rivalry, will be over in Georgia forever,” Saakashvili said, referring to Georgia’s ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who founded the current ruling Georgian Dream prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections and defeated the nine-year rule of the UNM established by Saakashvili.

Almost all the UNM speakers highlighted the “illegal rule of the country” by Ivanishvili and the “disability” of the current Government to address and settle the problems of the Georgian people.

They also said they would not repeat the mistakes made in the past and would take the country out of the current “economic crisis”.

Commenting on the rally, members of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia Party said the rally demonstrated “the very low support” of the UNM.

A member of the party, Manana Kobakhidze, said it would be hard for the UNM to gain 10-12% of votes in the elections.

She stressed that more people were presented at the single ruling party candidate’s meeting with local population than at the rally of the UNM, where people were brought by the UNM leaders from across Georgia's regions.