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Opposition starts meetings in regions, plans Tbilisi rally in April

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, February 13
The opposition will hold a large-scale protest on Rustaveli Avenue on April 4 at 4 pm. Until then, opposition parties will meet with locals in the region, picket state buildings and hold rallies. Also, the leaders are continuing talks, including on nominating common candidates in majoritarian constituencies.

According to one of the leaders of European Georgia, Giga Bokeria, at the April 4 rally, the opposition will present the public a strategy, plan, concrete agreements and vision. He also stated that there will be picketing and various rallies as well as trips to the regions.

Opposition leaders made the decision after a meeting at the Labor Party office.

Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili calls the April 4 rally a congress of all Georgia. He said a strategic and historic plan to change the government would be announced at the rally as the regime has moved to unbridled dictatorship, arrests, repressions and suppression.

One of the issues the opposition will discuss until the major rally is the unification of candidates in majoritarian constituencies. Giorgi Vashadze, the leader of the New Georgia party, said on the April 4 rally that the majoritarian candidates will be announced.

According to the Chairman of the United National Movement Grigol Vashadze, the opposition has agreed that in the majoritarian constituencies, they should have one candidate, which no other party will contest.

One of the leaders of the Republican Party, Davit Berdzenishvili, said that despite Bidzina Ivanishvili's attempt to remove the opposition from the 'constitutional space,' the government will change through elections.

"We are telling him that we will defeat him at least by the elections and will intensify the pressure from the street," said Berdzenishvili.

Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Georgia, said the opposition's task is to win the election, adding that there is no plan for revolution. She noted that the government made the opposition parties cooperate more with each other.

So far, the only party in the opposition coalition that has not decided whether to join the plan to consolidate majoritarian candidates is Lelo. Badri Japaridze, one of the leaders of Lelo for Georgia party, said that the party was registered a few months ago and is developing its plan at the moment. According to him, Lelo will participate in the April 4 rally, but it has yet to decide whether it accepts the opposition’s proposal to back a single candidate in single-mandate constituencies.

The opposition decided to meet with the population and hold a rally after refusing to negotiate with the authorities. The talks were suspended because after the Supreme Court sentenced European Georgia leader Gigi Ugulava to three years in prison over a case for which he has already been sentenced. Representatives of the parties say the government has run out of resources to negotiate.