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Stability without hurting people

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, March 17
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili made a new comment about the recent unrest in Georgia’s western city of Batumi and stressed the current authorities “showed a human image” and managed to maintain stability without “stepping over the mark and hurting its citizens”.

The unrest in Batumi last week started with a dispute between the police and a driver for a traffic violation, which then turned into a large-scaled protest, wherein people - together with local NGOs and opposition parties - accused the patrol police chief of unfair policies and insulting locals, and then demanded his resignation based on speculations without any tangible evidence.

Kvirikashvili stressed that unlike in previous years under the United National Movement authorities, the current government maintained stability in a peaceful manner.

He said that no one should be misled by the human nature of the government and no one should try to damage the stability of the state, as the government answer will be 'very strict'.

"By the way, we know exactly how some politicians were trying to keep the protest going until the morning. However, there is no the feeling of protest in the country and that was the reason for the failure of those politicians. They saw that they could not achieve their goal and very dishonestly started to attack the government," said the Prime Minister.

He added the rally organizers were easily seen and their calls were heard.

"This was the part of the plan of the United National Movement, which was directly trying to stir up the people. However, they have failed. We saw how they tried to gather people in Tbilisi, Rustavi and Kutaisi, but only 20-25 people supported them.

“They made absolutely shameless explanations and the whole responsibility, of course, lies with them. Now we should wait for the end of the investigation,” Kvirikashvili said.

The United National Movement dismissed the accusations, and says the government is trying to shift blame on them.

They say it was the government’s wrong economic and other policies that forced people to participate in the protest.

The demonstration left police officers hurt and cars burnt, and shops and city infrastructure damaged.

About 40 people were detained at the scene, while more than 30 people received minor injuries. No fatalities were reported.